Ms TIERNEY (Western Victoria) — My question is to the Minister for Planning, Justin Madden. Can the minister update the house on any recent announcements that demonstrate how the Brumby Labor government is taking action to plan for a growing Geelong?
Hon. J. M. MADDEN (Minister for Planning) — I thank the member for her interest in these matters. I know she is particularly interested in what is taking place in Geelong, especially around the Armstrong Creek area. Last Thursday I was delighted to join the Premier, representatives of the City of Greater Geelong and community and business leaders from across the region to unveil the two precinct structure plans for Armstrong Creek. I would like to think members of the opposition were enthusiastic about this initiative, because this is a great announcement not only in terms of housing in Victoria but in particular for the Geelong region. I would have thought opposition members from Western Victoria Region would have been enthusiastic about this, but obviously they are not.
The approval of these two precinct structure plans I announced with the Premier will generate more than $3 billion of investment and more than 13 000 jobs through the construction of a new major business precinct and 7300 new homes and community facilities. What is particularly important — and I know the President is enthusiastic about it — is that it will provide job opportunities, boost housing supply and include a diverse range of housing mix, retail business and industrial space as well as new natural and cultural features.
The first release of land at the Armstrong Creek precinct is expected to take place later this year when the first of 500 lots go on the market. As well as that we will see an enormous amount of investment, not only around the construction and the jobs, and not only around the neighbourhood activity centres but also in terms of the business park precinct which is part of this development. We as a government, the City of Greater Geelong and the broader development community in that area have committed to providing jobs in that region not only for greater Geelong but also specifically for Armstrong Creek.
The combination of affordability, job prospects and the great lifestyle choice of living in provincial Victoria, particularly close to the Surf Coast, means people can have the lifestyle at an affordable price in a great part of the world, thereby carrying out our commitment — not only with the existing suburbs and existing communities but with our new suburbs and our new communities, particularly throughout regional Victoria — to continue to make Victoria and Armstrong Creek great places to live, work, invest and raise a family.