TIERNEY (Western Victoria) — My question is also to the Minister for
Planning. Can the minister update the house on how the Brumby Labor government
is taking action to renew regional towns and centres such as Geelong and promote
good development and urban design?
J. M. MADDEN (Minister for Planning) — I welcome Ms Tierney’s question. I
welcome the fact that she is particularly interested in the Geelong community
and advocates very strongly for that community. Geelong is one of my favourite
topics, because we are doing so much in Geelong. If the opposition is expecting
to have an early lunch today, there is very little chance. I might talk for a
I was pleased to be down in Geelong recently and to turn the
first sod of what will be the new railway station precinct in the heart of
Geelong. This is a fantastic redevelopment because it complements this
government’s investment in the regional fast rail and also complements the huge
uptake of that fast rail and the huge patronage numbers of the regional rail
back and forward from Geelong. In that Geelong precinct we have a magnificent
heritage station — a beautiful building — that still operates very well for
the broader community when people are catching rail connections to and from
However, we are investing to upgrade the surrounding precinct.
At the moment that precinct has a lot of car parking, but it is not necessarily
pedestrian friendly and does not easily orient itself to the other attractive
elements of Geelong.
If you are a visitor to Geelong, if you live in Geelong, if you
are trying to do business in Geelong or to visit the waterfront, then the
access, the orientation and the way you get to and from the station do not
relate easily to the surrounding environment.
This project is about construction works in and around the
Geelong railway station to Mercer Street. It will create a much-needed link,
particularly in relation to pedestrian areas, but parking, pathways and
landscaping will also be reoriented. This will assist in making that whole
precinct a bit more pedestrian friendly. As well as that it will also allow for
direct access if people want to go from the station to the new Transport
Accident Commission building or if they want to get to the waterfront. It will
help on a number of fronts, whether it is those new users of the employment
precinct, those people who want to visit the waterfront as tourists or those who
time and again use that station because it is where they commute from daily.
In addition this project is particularly important because it
frees up a development site which will provide an enormous opportunity in the
north-east station precinct. We hope that will be taken up by a major employer
in some form to put more jobs into that precinct and more jobs into Geelong.
This complements the significant investment that has also been
made not only in the Geelong precinct but in and around the station area. Last
year we announced the completion of the $1.47 million upgrade to Bayley Street,
Transit Place and Clare Street as part of the overall investment. As well as
that we saw $24.5 million in funding provided to Geelong to assist in the
strengthening of the city as a regional and economic hub.
I understand this revitalisation will reduce congestion.
It will reduce noise and pollution and make that whole area a
bit more pedestrian, public transport and cycling friendly and a very pleasant
environment to be in as well as to move through.
I want to commend the City of Greater Geelong for its
partnering in this work. I want to congratulate the local members, in particular
Ms Tierney and Mr Trezise, the member for Geelong in the Assembly, who have been
very strong advocates and were there alongside me on the day on which we turned
that first sod.
I look forward to this fantastic project. Again this
government’s investment in provincial Victoria is turning into what will not
only be additional opportunities, greater amenity and more sensitive
environmental design but will also create more jobs and more prosperity in
Geelong to make Victoria an even better place to live, work and raise a family.