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$500,000 for plan to transform Geelong

A number of new projects will be investigated as part of a Bracks Government plan to transform the heart of Geelong into a thriving cultural centre and boost private commercial development, the Minister for Major Projects, John Lenders, said today.

Mr Lenders today announced a $500,000 joint Master Plan project by the State Government and the City of Greater Geelong to investigate a number of possible cultural, arts and commercial projects for the city.

He made the announcement during an address to a Partnership for Progress meeting attended by local civic, community and business leaders in Geelong.

Mr Lenders said possible developments to be explored included:

An upgraded performing arts centre;

A convention and exhibition centre;

Relocation of civic accommodation;

Related development (eg upgrade arts gallery, library, hotel); and

The future of State Government office building.
“Geelong is an important regional centre and the Bracks Government is keen to investigate how we can stimulate further private commercial development to create jobs and wealth for the local community,” Mr Lenders said.

“It is still early days and more work needs to be done, but this is another step in the Bracks Government’s long-term vision to revitalise Geelong.”

The master plan for the Geelong Cultural Precinct Site will encompass an area bounded by Ryrie Street, Gheringhap Street, Mercer Street, Railway Terrace and Fenwick Street.

Mr Lenders said the State Government and the council will contribute $250,000 each to fund the master plan to be developed by Major Projects Victoria.

A steering committee made up of representatives from the State Government, the council and business will oversee the plan and report back to the Minister for Major Projects.

The Mayor of Geelong, Peter McMullin, said this was great news for Geelong.

“This is exactly the type of project that we were aiming to achieve through the Partnership for Progress convention recently held in Geelong,” Mr McMullin said.

“At that convention, the State Government and the council agreed it would work together with community leaders in Geelong to progress the development of Geelong.

“Council has long held the belief that the Cultural Precinct is an important “heart” for Geelong.”

Mr Lenders said the Bracks Government was raising Geelong’s profile and attracting private investment to the city.

“This State Government’s decision to relocate the Transport Accident Commission’s head office from Melbourne to Geelong demonstrates our commitment to this city,” Mr Lenders said.

“The relocation and construction of a new head office in Geelong will result in a total economic benefit of $141 million. This includes a $54 million economic benefit and more than 800 jobs for the Geelong region.

“Following the relocation, there will be a longer term $59 million annual boost to the local economy.

“The TAC move and the Cultural Precinct Master Plan project is part of the Brack’s Government’s ongoing commitment to boost jobs and investment in regional Victoria.”