VICTORIAN Planning Minister Richard Wynne last week officially kick-started the work of the Geelong Authority, as part of the State Government's commitment to drive investment in Victoria's largest regional city.
Mr Wynne said the Authority will streamline major planning opportunities, drive greater investment and improve Geelong's streetscapes and open spaces.
The Authority will work with the Department of Environment, Water, Land and Planning to draft an action plan for Geelong which focuses on urban renewal and land development opportunities.
The Authority is chaired by Peter Dorling, Business Manager at Avalon Airport and members include Chairman of Costa Group Holdings and GRIIF Robert Costa, former CEO of the TAC Janet Dore, member of the Central Geelong Taskforce Roz Hansen and Geelong Performing Arts Centre General Manager Jill Smith.
Mr Wynne said the Authority will work closely with the Central Geelong Task Force to identify ways to revitalise Geelong's city centre. Places Victoria will also work closely with the Authority to build and invest in urban renewal projects, through land acquisition, infrastructure design and development partnerships.
Another key partnership will be with Regional Development Victoria, responsible for delivering the State Government's plans for more jobs and economic growth in regional areas, backed by the $500 million Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund.
Mr Wynne will be responsible for major planning decisions, which includes development proposals greater than 5,000 square metres in floor area, five storeys in height or 50 or more dwellings.
Mr Wynne said the Authority will provide him with advice ahead of the Moolap Coastal Strategic Framework Plan, which will help to better plan for the coastal communities.
The Victorian Government has committed $500,000 to establish the Geelong Authority and $3 million for on the ground projects, which includes $1 million for sustainability works in central Geelong.