A better deal for Geelong and the Shipwreck Coast

Geelong is another step closer to its own world-class Convention Centre, thanks to a Budget boost from the Andrews Labor Government.

The Victorian Budget 2018/19 invests $153.2 million towards the Geelong City Deal, with funds going to build the new Convention Centre, progress the Shipwreck Coast Masterplan and advance a strategy to revitalise the city’s centre.

The Budget will help kickstart the Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre, the much talked about project that will breathe new life into Geelong’s iconic waterfront, while attracting new visitors and creating new local jobs.

The Convention Centre will boast 3,700 square metres of multipurpose space configured to incorporate an exhibition hall and banquet room, and a plenary hall with at least 1,000 seats.

The Centre will include breakout rooms and circulation spaces with views of Geelong’s beautiful waterfront and natural light throughout.

The Convention Centre will also be designed to allow for future expansion as it cements its world class reputation.

The Labor Government is also getting on with delivering for the Shipwreck Coast – an international icon and a key tourism attraction – which draws well over two million travellers each year.

While the numbers of visitors are impressive, current foot traffic puts pressure on both the environment and the existing infrastructure.

That’s why the Labor Government wants to get on with the next stage of the Shipwreck Coast Masterplan, including a Glenample Visitor Experience Centre, a shuttle service between Glenample and Loch Ard and infrastructure improvements to the Twelve Apostles National Park.

The project is also expected to attract significant private sector investment in nearby towns to deliver a truly world class visitor experience at this iconic location.

The City Deal will also support further work on the Revitalising Central Geelong Action Plan – Malop Street Green Spine Project, to create new parkland connecting a redeveloped Geelong Station precinct, Johnstone Park and the Arts Precinct to Geelong’s retail core, and ultimately to Eastern Park.

Released in 2016, the Revitalising Central Geelong Action Plan sets out the Labor Government’s plan to rejuvenate central Geelong over the next decade, with a long-term aim to reinvigorate the overall local economy, with more investment, extra visitors and new jobs.

The Geelong City Deal is expected to inject an additional $1.1 billion into the Geelong economy and deliver nearly 1,000 Victorian jobs per annum.

The Labor Government has already committed $7.5 million to Stage 1 of the Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour project and will continue advocating for the Commonwealth to contribute the final $3.5 million required to deliver this project.

The Labor Government will continue to engage with the Commonwealth on the landmark Geelong City Deal and seek matching funds to deliver these world class projects.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford

“Victoria’s first City Deal will transform Geelong and the Shipwreck Coast, attracting new investments, more visitors and new jobs.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren

“The region draws 2.6 million visitors a year, but the average visitor stays less than 40 minutes and spends only 18 cents. We want to turn that tide and reach our full potential.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Geelong Christine Couzens

“Not only are we getting on with the Convention Centre, we’re also investing in Geelong’s CBD. It’s critical that the Commonwealth Government and Sarah Henderson get on board and back this project.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville

“The new Convention Centre will be a place where people will want to do business – it will strengthen tourism and create good jobs for our region.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney

“The tourism potential of Geelong and the wider region is no secret to Victorians – this funding will help turn that potential into a reality.”