By PAUL MILLAR
PREMIER Denis Napthine has told Geelong’s leaders to prioritise their funding wish-list based on value for money.
He delivered a pre-election pep talk to his parliamentary team in Geelong this week in preparation for November’s state election.
Nr Napthine addressed the media on Geelong’s waterfront metres from where outspoken Mayor Darryn Lyons wants a pier built to berth cruise ships.
Cr Lyons has demanded up to $25million in state funding for the pier, to take advantage of a booming international cruise ship market. He said the pier would attract nine cruise ships a year, worth $1 million each to Geelong’s economy.
Mr Napthine met community and business leaders including Cr Lyons during the visit, saying he was prepared to listen to proposals.
Funding for the pier, city centre revitalisation, a convention centre, further redevelopment of Kardinia Park and other projects had already been raised, he said.
“We need a clear, unequivocal view from the mayor and the Geelong community about where their priorities lie.
“We have a good track record for supporting Geelong in a number of projects … we have to see is what is the best value for money.”
Cr Lyons said he would deliver a prioritised wish list.
“I’ll be giving him the grand plan but I also realise that it won’t all be done at once.”
Cr Lyons believed the government should take the past into account when looking to Geelong’s future.
“The former premier, Jeff Kennett, delivered a $30million in investment in the Geelong waterfront … it needs to be done again,” Cr Lyons said.
“The Yarra St pier is a priority but it has to be more than that to attract private investment.”