Media statement from the CEO of the Committee for Geelong, Jennifer Cromarty

“The City Deal is a construct to ensure that all three levels of government work together on agreed priorities and a shared vision with and for the community. 

“While there are some key projects in the Geelong City Deal that we would like to see more progressed, we also appreciate that with complex governance structures within local, State and Federal Governments that some decisions take time. This includes the fact that projects also include commercial arrangements with non-government entities.

“The Committee for Geelong, as a member of the Geelong City Deal Implementation Advisory Group is in regular dialogue with government regarding the progress of specific projects and timelines for public announcements. However, we have consistently advocated  that the community, and particularly the private sector, needs stronger engagement so there is opportunity to leverage government investment with private capital.

“We encourage the Federal and State Governments and the City of Greater Geelong to demonstrate collaborative and collegiate leadership as they roll-out the key projects funded through the Geelong City Deal. Building this model of collaboration can only bode well for Geelong’s long-term future.

“In terms of the Green Spine project, the Committee for Geelong can see progress under the guidance of the Victorian Government. In February 2020, we expressed our disappointment when the Council of the City of Greater Geelong passed a motion to unravel components of the Green Spine. The Green Spine was one of the major recommendations from Vision 2 and aims to support central Geelong to be a liveable, walkable and bike friendly city.

Vision 2 was an initiative of the Committee for Geelong and was developed in collaboration with Deakin University, City of Greater Geelong and the Victorian Government. As the Victorian Government has moved to take control the Green Spine project, we are aware of the progress being planned and delivered.

“As stated recently (2 February, Geelong Advertiser), the Committee for Geelong is fully supportive of the Geelong Convention Centre and its planned development. We have fought long and hard for this project and welcome the progression to design works this year and construction commencing in early 2022.

“The Convention Centre is a vital part of the region’s post COVID recovery and will be a very important focal point for the Geelong Waterfront and as an attractor of private investment.

“Notwithstanding the large amounts of work that has occurred behind the scenes, the progress regarding the Convention Centre appears to be slow. We are hoping that more information will be made public in the near future. This is vital for the community and the private sector so that the public investment in the project can be leveraged and the economic and social outcomes can be realised.”