Geelong community invited to join the conversation on our future economy

24 March 2017

Deakin, the City of Greater Geelong and G21 are inviting the community to a series of discussions about industries that hold the key to the region's future economic growth, following today's launch of a report outlining four potential major projects worth about $2 billion in direct investment.

The Our Futures Lecture Series will include four public events in Geelong between May and July, centring on key industries and themes contained in the Geelong Economic Futures report that identifies the major project potential within the region.

The projects include a $1 billion plan to make Avalon Victoria’s largest interstate and seaport road and rail freight terminal, an up to $800 million water solution to drought proof regional food production, a $300 million investment at CSIRO’s Animal Health Laboratory to create the Asia Pacific hub for infectious disease and biosecurity, and an injection of $70 million to Deakin’s Carbon Nexus.

The report, released today, is the result of a collaboration between Deakin, the City of Greater Geelong and G21, and finds that the scoped projects would help shape Geelong’s future. They would focus primarily on harnessing private equity investment to remove reliance on Government subsidy.

The lecture series themes will align with industries relevant to the projects, including biosciences, agriculture, advanced manufacturing and pathways to prosperity, and be led by experts who will create broader discussion about future opportunities for the Geelong region across each industry.

Deakin Vice‐Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander said the lecture series had grown from the Geelong Economic Futures project, in the context of economic analyses that suggested the loss of traditional manufacturing to the region could be offset by growth in the infrastructure, services, health and education sectors.

“Deakin is passionate about supporting the communities we serve, and a key part of that is helping to determine our own futures. That is why we partnered with the City of Greater Geelong and G21 to develop the Geelong Economic Futures project,” Professor den Hollander said.

“And it’s why we now want to have a conversation with the community about our future. This project shows that rather than wait for Governments, we can attract private investment to work with our existing infrastructure and resources in the industries we know will lead our growth.”

City of Greater Geelong Administrators Chair Dr Kathy Alexander said the lecture series would focus on the economic structures capable of giving Geelong a distinct global competitive advantage.

“The opportunities outlined in the Geelong Economic Futures report were chosen because they will build on Greater Geelong’s existing strengths and take them in new and innovative directions.

“These concepts were developed by local insight and supported by expert assessment to create sustainable economic futures across our region. The fact that they are based on enhancing what we already do well is a recipe for success.”

G21 Chief Executive Officer Elaine Carbines said while the Geelong Economic Futures report identified four major projects, there were a raft of potential other opportunities within the biosciences, agricultural and advanced manufacturing sectors that could benefit Geelong.

“We are looking forward to hearing from the experts in these fields, in the context of where the future lies, so we can have a positive discussion around what may be possible,” Ms Carbines said.

“We have taken a community and market driven approach to Geelong Economic Futures, which is a new and exciting means of taking control of our own future.”

The Geelong Economic Futures report is available here.

Our Future Lecture Series details

Biosciences, Thursday 4 May, 6pm, Deakin Waterfront, with Professor Peter Doherty AC and Dr Graham Mitchell AO.
Professor Doherty is Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne and shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1996 for discovering how the immune system recognises virus‐infected cells. Dr Mitchell is one of Australia’s leading biological scientists, a veterinary graduate and University gold medallist of the University of Sydney.

Agriculture, Thursday 8 June, 6pm, Deakin Waterfront, with Robert McGavin and Lyndsay Sharp.
Mr McGavin is Chief Executive Officer and Executive Chairman, Boundary Bend Limited, is directly involved in a large scale vineyard in South Australia, a grazing operation in Western Queensland and a cropping and grazing operation in South Western Victoria. Ms Sharp is a Director at Leura Park Estate Vineyard, Jack Rabbit Vineyard, Flying Brick Cider Co, Curlewis Golf Club.

Advanced Manufacturing, Thursday 6 July, 6pm, Deakin Waurn Ponds, with Natalie Waldie and Jake Dingle.
Ms Waldie is Project Manager, BAE Systems Australia. Mr Dingle is Chief Executive Officer, Carbon Revolution and has a background in engineering, operations, strategy and mergers and acquisitions within Australian listed companies.

Pathways to Prosperity, Thursday 20 July, 6pm, Deakin Waterfront, with James Pearson and Andrew Cardwell.
Mr Pearson is the Chief Executive Officer at the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Australia's largest business advocacy network. Mr Cardwell is a Partner at InfraInvest, and an accomplished PPP commercial director, project financing specialist and project engineer across a range of industry sectors including roads, rail, energy, military, telecommunications, environmental services and social infrastructure.

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Media release Centre for Regional and Rural Futures (CeRRF)

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