We can’t keep continuing to put people into Melbourne and Sydney. This country needs more emerging cities. Geelong, Newcastle and Wollongong are the most likely prospects – with the Geelong region at the top of the list.
Geelong is the leading prospect because of its:
Geelong particularly appeals to people who are young, educated, aspirational, entrepreneurial and with money to invest in new business and employment, creating opportunities and affluence.
The reality is that Geelong is growing strongly now; even Council recognises that the city is growing at just under 2.5% per annum – in my view it is much stronger than that, more like 3.0 to 3.5% per annum.
Even if we were to accept just 2.5% per annum growth moving forward – a fraction of the 5% per annum that the City of Wyndham is growing at – Geelong will grow from 240,000 people now to around 850,000 in 50 years’ time. In 60 years, we will be over 1 million people. This could happen much earlier.
We can’t have uncontrolled growth and a lack of new infrastructure support. Nor can we deny growth. We need to accept that reality, plan for it and take control of our destiny. And for that we need a plan.
I want to drive a growth agenda with a clearly articulated plan that will give choice to our children and the generations to follow.
That’s why I’m running
We live in Geelong. We want and need to continue to have our own identity. We don’t want to become an extension of Melbourne. We don’t want to become the receptacle for Melbourne’s problems. Greater Geelong – including the Bellarine – is “greater” for a reason!
It goes without saying that we can’t ignore our critically important symbiotic relationship with Melbourne. This is what makes us different and it is a key part of our strength. Geelong is now a hybrid of both Melbourne and regional Victoria, as well as a bridge and gateway to the State’s west.
We need to take a more aggressive approach to advocate to governments, federal and state, about what we want Geelong to become.
We need to look forward.
We need to engage our politicians, lead them, open their minds, embolden and empower them, and ultimately get them to fight for us in this political landscape where there is limited capital and for which there is huge competition.
And we need to get the business sector to continue to invest in the region, not just in the industries of today, but the emerging industries of tomorrow. It is all interrelated.