Geelong’s Green Spine is progressing, with construction underway on the northern side of Malop Street and a tender for the public engagement and design of later sections to be released next week.
The section between Gheringhap and Moorabool streets will provide entry to Malop Street from Johnstone Park and the train station precinct, and includes a landscaped triangle park, heritage features from the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners, tree and grass plantings and seating.
In addition to the drainage works between Gheringhap Street and Clare Street, two tenders will also be shortly released for community engagement and design of Block 3, between Yarra St and Bellarine Street.
Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the Green Spine is a key project to drive change in Geelong’s central business district and enhance business opportunities and tourism.
“The Green Spine project is vital in transforming Malop Street into a vibrant and linear park, delivering more trees and green spaces into the heart of the city,” Minister Fletcher said.
“Funding this project through the Geelong City Deal means the Geelong community will see more shovels in the ground, helping drive the Victorian economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Victorian Minister for Planning, the Hon Richard Wynne MP, said the Geelong City Deal continues to provide both social and economic benefits for the community.
“2020 was a hard year for Victorians, which is why I don’t take these projects for granted,” Minister Wynne said.
“The Green Spine will help create vibrant, liveable spaces to spend this lost time with our loved ones.”
Senator for Victoria, Senator the Hon Sarah Henderson, said an ‘all-abilities’ standard will be applied to improve pedestrian movement along Malop Street, including connections to and from the new WorkSafe and NDIS buildings.
“The single-lane bike path on the north of Malop Street will also continue through this block, which will feature a mix of indigenous and deciduous tree plantings,” Senator Henderson said.
“Overall, we’re talking about adding over a hectare of green space for the city, which will contribute to Geelong becoming an even better place to live, work and visit.”
State Member for Geelong, Christine Couzens said along with revitalising community connection, the Green Spine project will increase opportunities for business and tourism and play an important role in the city’s future.
“One of the key projects for the 10-year Revitalising Central Geelong Action Plan, launched in 2016, the first section (Block 2) between Moorabool and Yarra streets, was completed in July 2018,” Ms Couzens said.
Detailed planning work on the rest of the Green Spine, connecting greenery and bike lanes are also underway and the community will be engaged in late 2021 to provide feedback on the look and feel of the sections from Yarra Street through to Eastern Park.
Works on Block 3 are expected to begin early 2022. These works will continue to transform Malop Street, creating additional cycling and pedestrian connections, green areas – including a botanical walk – and alfresco dining options.
The Green Spine project is funded through the $382.48 million Geelong City Deal – a 10-year partnership between the Australian and Victorian governments and the City of Greater Geelong.