The landmark deal will unlock the economic potential of the region’s tourism industry, revitalise the Geelong city centre and boost emerging businesses.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison today announced the Federal contribution to the Geelong City Deal package – which includes a complete transformation of the Twelve Apostles precinct and the Shipwreck Coast.
“This deal will be a game changer from Geelong all the way along the Coast,” the Prime Minister said.
“When it comes to tourism in Australia it doesn’t get much more iconic than the Twelve Apostles and the Great Ocean Road.
“Every year, more than six million people drive along the Great Ocean Road and two million visit the Twelve Apostles. But we don’t want people just day tripping from Melbourne, we want them staying the night at a local hotel, eating dinner at the local pub, and buying coffee in the morning at a local cafe.
“Our significant investments in Geelong infrastructure will mean more jobs and a better quality of life for hard working families giving local businesses a real boost.”
Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population Alan Tudge said the investment would support the continued transformation of Geelong by leveraging the strengths of the city and region.
“This commitment will transform the Geelong city precinct and make it an even better place to live,” Minister Tudge said.
“City Deals represent a genuine partnership between all three levels of government to align planning, create jobs and stimulate urban renewal.
“Geelong will benefit from a new state of the art convention centre at the Geelong waterfront along with public domain improvements, and infrastructure investments to revitalise and redevelop the city centre.”
Federal Member for Wannon Dan Tehan said the $58 million investment in the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan would be a game-changer.
“Focusing on updating tourist infrastructure at the Twelve Apostles, Glenample Precinct and Gibson Steps, this funding will support the area’s visitor economy, helping to better manage large numbers of tourists and enhance the visitor experience, while generating hundreds of local jobs,” Mr Tehan said.
“It will improve access and safety, reduce congestion at key tourist sites and lay the foundations for private sector development, such as quality accommodation. It will also help disperse visitors throughout the region and shift the perception of the Great Ocean Road from a day trip destination to an overnight and multi-day visitor experience. The construction of a new Visitor Experience Centre at Glenample is central to this vision.”
Federal Member for Corangamite Sarah Henderson said today’s announcement followed the Government’s commitment of $3.5 million to the Geelong Safe Harbour Project, improving public access to the Geelong waterfront and supporting tourism, community activities and major events.
“Today we are delivering almost $100 million to the Geelong region and Great Ocean Road communities in the Corangamite electorate in this beautiful part of Australia,” Ms Henderson said.
“It includes a commitment of up to $8 million to go towards the redevelopment of public spaces at Point Grey in Lorne, up to $12 million to upgrade Apollo Bay Harbour and up to $10 million to help fund a new ferry terminal at Queenscliff, an important tourist gateway to Geelong and the Great Ocean Road.
“Apart from $5 million for a new coastal walk connecting Apollo Bay with Skenes Creek, our City Deal includes funding for a feasibility study to link Skenes Creek via Lorne to the Surf Coast Walk. We recognise the need for world class tourism infrastructure to support one of Australia’s most iconic tourist destinations.”
The Great Ocean Road region attracts over six million visitors a year – more than double the Great Barrier Reef and a million more than the Blue Mountains – and generated around $1.3 billion in tourist spending in the year ending June 2017. Visitor numbers are expected to increase by up to 50 per cent by 2025.
The City Deal will build on existing investments, helping to deliver the shared long-term vision for the Geelong region.
The Liberal and Nationals Government will work toward finalising the deal with the Victorian Government which outlined its commitments earlier this year.