Statement from the CEO of the Committee for Geelong, Jennifer Cromarty

“The Committee for Geelong acknowledges the Minister for Ports decision to base the new agency – Ports Victoria – in Geelong.

“Locating Ports Victoria in Geelong will grow the city’s influence in the ports sector and allow it to become a niche centre of maritime expertise. The Victorian Government’s decision reflects the marine expertise and skills that are currently in place in Geelong and provides an opportunity to grow associated services and industry.

“Geelong already has a history of attracting and supporting government agencies to the region including the ongoing success of the TAC and WorkSafe Victoria. We understand that this announcement may bring a number of new jobs to the region, which is welcomed. The Committee for Geelong has long supported a policy of decentralisation of government services as a stimulus to jobs and growth in regional economies.

“We also understand that there will be organisational efficiencies through the streamlining and merging of the functions of the Victorian Regional Channels Authority (VRCA) and the Victorian Ports Corporation (Melbourne).

However, the Committee for Geelong would ask that the current regional model, that provides a strong and independent voice in Geelong, is protected through legislation.

“In our submission in August 2020 to the Independent Review of the Victorian Ports System we asked that consideration be given to ensure that:

  • Regional Victoria and its port infrastructure, management and future needs are seen as paramount to the ports system;
  • That any new legislation, charter, governance structure or regulation maintains fairness, focus and equity across all ports in Victoria and protects regional interests; and
  • That the Victorian Regional Channels Authority and its role as a local community and corporate citizen is maintained in any new structure, as a vital contributor to the Geelong and regional economy.

“The Committee for Geelong will continue to engage with the Victorian Government as its full response to the recommendations to the Review is released and as the new Victorian Ports Strategy is developed.”