By Mayor Bruce Harwood
Geelong is in a fantastic position to continue driving toward a clever and creative future.
Our region is grabbing people’s attention as a great place to live, visit and do business, and with this momentum comes enormous opportunity.
We are increasingly seeing the region’s leaders and major organisations working united to progress our most important projects.
Fifteen months after becoming Australia’s first and only UNESCO City of Design, the benefits of this prestigious title are starting to flow.
Melbourne Design Week next month will be extended to Geelong, and the team involved has put together an incredible program showcasing brilliant people and design ideas coming out of our city.
This could not have happened without the City of Design designation.
Our continued population growth means infrastructure must be a key focus in 2019 and beyond.
A fast-rail connection with Melbourne is vital, and long overdue. Council’s mission is to lead the charge and make fast rail a reality.
We’ve commissioned a report that says Geelong to Melbourne in 32 minutes is achievable, and we’ve united Victoria’s biggest regional cities and the nation’s foremost infrastructure experts in a fast-rail coalition.
We plan to do much of the work that would traditionally fall to higher governments, saving time and costs.
And in the lead-up to the federal election, our planned redevelopment of the Waterworld site in Norlane, the Northern Arts, Recreation and Community (ARC) hub, remains a key focus.
This facility is badly needed in our northern suburbs. Council’s $20 million commitment has been on the table for some time now, and we’re persisting in our efforts to gain matching contributions from the other tiers of government.
That is just a small snapshot of what lies ahead.
Our incredible summer of major events has gotten 2019 off to a flyer. Now council and other local leaders are focussed on making 2019 a year of great progress for our community.