TIERNEY (Western Victoria) — My question is to the Minister for Planning.
The minister has often spoken about the increasing population of Melbourne and
provincial Victoria and the Brumby Labor government’s initiatives that are
managing that growth. In particular Geelong is recognised as Australia’s largest
provincial municipality and is experiencing continuing population growth because
of its diversity and lifestyle. I ask the minister to inform the house how the
Brumby Labor government’s 2008-09 budget will assist in planning for and
managing this growth to ensure Geelong’s livability is sustained well into the
J. M. MADDEN (Minister for Planning) — I welcome Ms Tierney’s interesting
question, particularly in relation to issues around Geelong and the issues
associated with her region.
We are seeing an enormous population boom, which is providing
enormous growth. One area where it is providing enormous growth is in the
Geelong region, which city was often referred to as ‘Sleepy Hollow’. It is not
sleepy anymore; it is going absolutely gangbusters.
The census figures indicate that regional Victoria has grown by
approximately 50 000 people since the previous census. Geelong grew by more than
11 000 people, which means that about 23 per cent of the growth in regional
Victoria is going to Greater Geelong. That is a great story for Geelong.
To complement that, not only is that providing for the
prosperity of Geelong but it is also providing for the prosperity of the 240 000
people who live in Geelong and across the Greater Geelong region. We know that a
lot of people who live in that area also commute to Geelong and surrounding
areas, like the Surf Coast or the Golden Plains shire.
We are seeing that growth extending to those regions. As part
of that, we are keen to ensure that that strategic planning continues around
Geelong, particularly in relation to residential, commercial and retail
developments, so that Greater Geelong as well as the heart of the city continues
As part of that in last year’s budget we contributed $5.8
million for the revitalisation of the Geelong transit city project, which was
very much for the planning work. That planning work has led to, in this year’s
budget, an additional $24.5 million for the Geelong transit city project, and
that will see improvements in the railway station precinct and new pedestrian
links between the Transport Accident Commission building and the Geelong
station. It is also complementing the investment by the TAC in the city of
As well as that, in this year’s budget, a further $7.9 million
will be spent over the next four years for complementary planning work for the
development of the Geelong future city master plan, and this will also
complement the business case for the Geelong Heritage Centre, the proposed
redevelopment of the Geelong Performing Arts Centre, and the redevelopment of
the heritage-listed Geelong courthouse into a youth arts centre.
As I said when I started, things are going gangbusters down in
Geelong: lots is happening and there is more to happen, including significant
investment in regional planning initiatives to make sure that Geelong and the
rest of Victoria are sharing in the prosperity we are seeing across the state
and which the Treasurer talked about earlier this week, making sure that not
only Victoria but also Geelong are the best places to live, work and raise a