United pitch for Northern ARC funding

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Senior leaders from across Geelong have come together 25 days out from the federal election to make a united pitch for funding for the Northern ARC development in Norlane.

Led by Greater Geelong Mayor Bruce Harwood, representatives from 11 different organisations joined forces to call on both major political parties to commit $20.5 million to the planned health and wellbeing hub.

Members of the group will also write to federal members and candidates in the seats of Corio and Corangamite voicing their support for the project.

The Northern ARC has been identified as a top priority by the City of Greater Geelong and key advocacy group the G21 Geelong Region Alliance.

The venue will improve community health in Geelong’s northern suburbs by offering a range of world class programs and facilities, drawing an expected 600,000 visits each year.

It’s estimated the Northern ARC, which would replace the ageing Waterworld leisure centre, would deliver $111 million in preventative health benefits to the Greater Geelong community over its first 10 years of operation.

A federal commitment of $20.5 million would add to the $20.6 million already pledged by the City, with a further $20.5 million also required from the state government to see the $61.6 million project fully funded.

The City of Greater Geelong has already engaged architects, who have produced initial design concepts for the new hub.

A full list of attendees at the joint funding pitch is below.

Councillor Bruce Harwood – Mayor:

This unified stance has highlighted how absolutely critical the Northern ARC is for Geelong’s north. It’s clear from the turnout of leaders from major organisations across our city that we all share our belief that it’s a top priority.

We want to see both major parties recognise that Geelong’s northern suburbs desperately need this facility, and put their money on the table. This campaign for the Northern ARC will only increase until the funding is fully committed.

The Northern ARC has the potential to make a huge difference in the health and wellbeing of thousands of our northern suburbs residents, but it won’t go ahead without contributions from all three tiers of government. The City of Greater Geelong has come to the party with our largest ever social infrastructure commitment; now it’s an opportunity for our local federal members and candidates to show how much they care about our northern suburbs by influencing their parties to make the same commitment.

Elaine Carbines, CEO, G21 Geelong Region Alliance:

A prosperous regional community should care for the wellbeing of all of its members. This commitment today, from local organisations right across the G21 region, shows strong evidence that we do.

That is why, as a regional community, we call on our politicians to support the Northern ARC.

Norlane and Corio have double-digit levels of unemployment; higher than both the state and national averages. They are among the most socially disadvantaged areas in the nation. This facility will work to address causes central to disadvantage, providing long overdue community and health facilities to some of our most vulnerable communities.

Decisions about funding desperately-needed projects such as the Northern ARC should be based on the needs of the people; not on whether it will result in votes on polling day.

G21 calls on the government and the opposition to include the Northern ARC as a commitment in the lead-up to the election. They have the opportunity to show they do care about the northern suburbs.

ATTENDEES

City of Greater Geelong

Cr Bruce Harwood, Mayor
Cr Peter Murrihy, Deputy Mayor
Cr Kylie Grzybek
Cr Jim Mason
Cr Ron Nelson
Cr Trent Sullivan
Martin Cutter, CEO

G21 Geelong Region Alliance
Elaine Carbines, CEO

Committee for Geelong
Jennifer Cromarty, CEO

Geelong Chamber of Commerce
Mark Edmonds, President

Give Where You Live Foundation
Bill Mithen, CEO (also Chair, G21)

Leisure Networks
Lachlan Hodgson, Deputy CEO

GenU
Mike McKinstry, CEO

Northern Futures
Lyn Morgan, Executive Officer

Gforce Employment Solutions
Rob Birch, CEO

Viva Energy
Thys Heyns, General Manager Geelong Refinery

North Shore Residents Association
Dale Jennings




Page last updated: Wednesday, 24 April 2019

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