Green Spine taking shape

(Supplied) 264193_01

Ash Bolt

The revitalisation of Geelong’s CBD is a step closer to completion, with another stage of the Green Spine project finished just before Christmas.

The section on the north side between Gheringhap and Moorabool Streets is now complete, marking the entry to the Green Spine from Johnstone Park and the Geelong Station Precinct.

It features almost 3000 new trees and shrubs, bluestone paving, seating and tables, improved stormwater drainage and filtration and a single-lane bike path.

Regional Development Minister Mary-Anne Thomas said the project was progressing well.

“The Green Spine is a city-shaping project that will deliver big benefits to residents, businesses and the environment by creating a major new parkland in Geelong’s CBD,” she said.

“I’m so pleased to see the next stage of this project delivered through the Geelong City Deal [was] completed just in time for Christmas, which is a great present for the Geelong community.”

A steel decking designed in consultation with Wadawurrung Traditional Owners has also been incorporated to provide a cultural learning opportunity for the community.

The work of Wadawurrung artist BJ O’Toole was translated into the design, which was then reproduced by the steel fabricators.

“The community and traders will be able to enjoy this outdoor space with its rich mix of native and exotic plantings, as well as infuse Wadawurrung Traditional Owner culture, beautiful wooden seating and alfresco dining areas,” geelong-based senator Sarah Henderson said.

The Green Spine is one of the key projects of the 10-year Revitalising Central Geelong Action Plan, which will provide a new pedestrian-friendly park along six blocks of Malop Street to deliver major environmental and economic benefits for the CBD.

“The Green Spine will increase opportunities for residential development, business and tourism. It will help transform the city into a great place to live, work and visit,” Geelong MP Christine Couzens said.

“Creating a linear park along Malop Street will improve the health and wellbeing of all in central Geelong.”

Detailed planning work to revitalise the remainder of Malop Street is underway, with community and stakeholder consultation on the concept designs to begin next month.

The Green Spine is being delivered as part of the $500 million Geelong City Deal, which is a joint commitment from the City of Greater Geelong and the state and federal governments to transform Geelong and the Great Ocean Road.