Despite steady growth, Geelong can’t afford to overlook the importance of industry and new business says Dan Simmonds, Chairperson of the Committee for Geelong (CfG).

Speaking at the CfG’s 18th Annual General Meeting (AGM) earlier today, Mr Simmonds urged business and community representatives to not become complacent in the face of local successes, like Avalon Airport.

“We need to continue to call for support and encourage new industries and businesses to come to Geelong, to drive future growth and stability,” said Mr Simmonds.

Referencing Avalon Airport’s new partnership with AirAsia, Mr Simmonds spoke about the importance of continuing to advocate and support established industries in the Geelong city-region.

“We have Avalon Airport just at our doorstep, which we will continue to advocate for, but the Port of Geelong also has important opportunities for growth,” he said.

“As outlined in our Proposed Second City Policy Framework, stronger freight connections, including rail, road and channel upgrades are required to underpin long-term growth in Victoria’s Second City.”

GeelongPort currently manages $7 billion of trade each year and, due to accelerated growth plans, is expected to achieve 18 million tonnes per annum by 2025 – 10 years ahead of the Victorian Regional Channels Authority’s economic forecast from 2015.

Guest speaker at the event, Brett Winter, CEO of GeelongPort, said the advocacy outlined in the Committee’s Proposed Second City Policy Framework was vital to the future success of the Port of Geelong and Geelong’s economy.

“With approximately 12 million tonnes handled in this past financial year, and with Boral, Bass Island Line and Vestas projects underway, we have a strong pipeline of future projects to drive growth in Geelong,” said Mr Winter.

“We need to strengthen road and rail links in our city-region, so that the Port of Geelong can continue to facilitate growth in trade and economic development,” he said.

Mr Winter said GeelongPort values the work of the Committee and has for many years now.

“We really value the work of the Committee for Geelong, having been a Transforming Geelong roadshow partner in 2016, and more recently, supporting the Committee in its engagement with other second cities like Newcastle.”

GeelongPort were recently named a finalist in the ‘Port or Terminal of the Year’ category of the 2018 Australian Shipping and Maritime Industry Awards.