G21 asking for transport feedback


Ash Bolt

Geelong residents are being encouraged to share their thoughts and vision for the region’s future transport system.

G21 Geelong Region Alliance recently launched an online survey to gather feedback about transport challenges and opportunities across the region as it prepares to develop a “big picture” transport strategy to guide planning and investment for the coming decades.

The G21 Integrated Transport Strategy will examine public transport and active trails, the road network and freight movements, electric vehicle transport infrastructure and rail shuttle connections in busy corridors across the region.

Previous reports have determined the region needed a first-class transport system to connect people with jobs, education and training opportunities, drive stronger health and well-being, boost community participation in recreation and social activities and create conditions to rebuild the economy as the region recovered from COVID-19.

G21 chief executive Giulia Baggio said as one of the fastest growing regions in Australia, G21 needed a modern and fit-for- purpose transport system to lock-in its economic prosperity and retain its liveability.

“Within 20 years, the G21 region will be home to more than half a million people and we are already outgrowing our transport network,” she said.

“It is critical that we put in a place a strategy now which meets the needs and aspirations of our many geographically dispersed communities and that can help attract the major investments required by governments to keep pace with growth demands, while retaining what people love about living here.

“Our region is increasingly a significant contributor in the Victorian and Australian economies. Improved transport across the region and links to ports, airports, inter-modal terminals and other regional and metropolitan centres is also needed to our growing and emerging industries to fully realise their potential.

“The G21 Integrated Transport Strategy Community Survey is an exciting and important opportunity for our communities to share their views and feedback as we shape a vision for a transport system which sets us up a cleaner, healthier and prosperous future.”

While public transport links has been a major talking point throughout the pandemic, the road network will also be important for the region’s future.

Residents of the Geelong region have an average of two cars per household, compared with 1.7 in Melbourne, while total transport expenditure for a household in Geelong was $17,197 for 2021, making it the second most expensive regional area in Australia, according to the Australian Automobile Association’s transport affordability index.

G21 transport pillar chairwoman and Deakin University director of security, transport and retail Karly Lovell said an evidenced-based strategy was needed to overcome weaknesses in the transport network and to better understand the links between public transport and economic development.

“It costs more to get around in G21 than anywhere else in regional Victoria,” she said.

“That cost is borne by our communities and businesses, driving down productivity and liveability, and increasing emissions.

“This strategy is an opportunity to work together to establish a clear vision and a framework to support planning with all tiers of government through a fresh and collaborative approach to transport planning.”

The survey is open until December 23 and can be completed at G21.com.au/transport-survey/.