The Committee for Geelong has recently held events with Federal MPs to brief members on key issues leading into the upcoming Federal election.

The Northern ARC project was raised due to lack of funding commitments from the State and Federal governments.

The Hon Richard Marles MP, Federal Member for Corio, stated that the Northern ARC was his number one priority.

The proposed health and wellbeing hub will deliver leisure, recreation, arts and community wellbeing facilities, which will provide greater equity and accessibility to services across the northern suburbs.

The project is estimated to generate $111 million in preventative health benefits and economic activity over the next ten years.

The Northern ARC will contribute to addressing social inequity in Corio and Norlane. The Committee for Geelong calls on both the State and Federal government to contribute to this important initiative.

Corio-Norlane’s unemployment rate is at 21.7% – the highest in Victoria. The structural change in the region, together with generational unemployment, has contributed to the challenges facing this community and investment in infrastructure, such as the Northern ARC, will be a catalyst to improve future liveability in Geelong’s northern suburbs.

Addressing entrenched unemployment is vital to boosting our economy.

The Committee for Geelong has long supported addressing disadvantage in the northern suburbs with the Committee’s founding Executive Director, Peter Dorling, and former Chairperson, Michael Betts, both assuming the role of Chairperson at Northern Futures respectively.

Northern Futures, established in 2007, is a not profit organisation who seeks to create employment and training opportunities for members of their community most at risk of becoming, or remaining, jobless.

Mr Dorling says the best way to address disadvantage is by employment but how can we continue to activate employment opportunities?

Business and employers in the region need to collaborate with the community to support our northern suburbs through training and job opportunities.

It’s important that we continue to support initiatives like Northern ARC, Northern Futures and the Geelong Regional Opportunities for Work (GROW) to improve the economic and social prosperity of the northern suburbs.

For Geelong to prosper as a Clever and Creative city, we need to ensure that the standard of living and both professional and creative opportunities are afforded to all of our citizens, regardless of their residential postcode. The rising tide must lift all boats.

Published via the Geelong Advertiser, 24/04/2019

Image via Geelong Advertiser