27 July 2015

The record shows I’m fighting for region: Opinion, Geelong Advertiser

ON the day Geelong Mayor Darryn Lyons spoke to (ABC774 radio host) Jon Faine, I was in Canberra continuing my fight for Geelong’s and Corangamite’s future.

I flew to Canberra early that morning to meet with some of the Prime Minister’s key advisers to discuss how the Federal Government can continue to support the Geelong region.

Our Government is delivering a wide range of investments to our region including:

$185.5 MILLION for the Princes Highway duplication between Winchelsea and Colac;

$25 MILLION for the upgrade of the Great Ocean Road;

ESTABLISHING an Australian Bureau of Statistics Centre of Excellence in Geelong, bringing with it 250 jobs;

FUNDING the National Disability Insurance Scheme Barwon trial as well as the establishment of the NDIA headquarters in Geelong;

ROLLING out the NBN to some 40,000 premises across Corangamite;

$3 MILLION for the Geelong Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases;

$4.17 MILLION for the Golden Plains Food Production and Employment Precint;

$2.11 MILLION to fund 10 new mobile phone base stations in Corangamite;

$15 MILLION for the Geelong Region Innovation and Investment Fund (GRIIF);

$1.8 MILLION for the Geelong Employment Connections program;

$40 MILLION in local Roads to Recovery funding over four years;

MILLIONS of dollars in funding for community infrastructure projects such as Shell Rd Reserve and Colac Central Reserve;

$300,000 for the Surf Coast Solar Towns program;

$4.7 MILLION to help fund a new Future Fibre Research Hub at Deakin University; and

A NUMBER of key job creation and innovation programs that can be accessed locally such as our $155 million Growth Fund and $484 million Entrepreneurs Program.

Our Government also provided some $1.5 billion to complete the construction of the Regional Rail Link.

And let’s not forget our commitment to fund an international terminal at Avalon Airport and the $1.5 billion that remains on the table for the western section of East West Link — a project abandoned by State Labor that has destroyed 7000 jobs. These are (the) very jobs that our region desperately needs.

Labor also looks set to abandon the Bay West port development.

We have an infrastructure investment crisis in Victoria because of the actions of this Victorian Government.

As our local economy continues to transition we need to do more.

That’s why I am fighting to make Geelong the home of an Industry Growth Centre in Advanced Manufacturing, which would deliver some wonderful opportunities.

That’s why I am travelling to every corner of the electorate to discuss the needs of all Corangamite communities.

That’s why I am fighting for more direct investment for our region.

And that’s why I am urging all local councils to develop the highest calibre of projects for state and federal funding.

Our National Stronger Regions Fund delivers matching funding of up to $10 million per project. Unfortunately, not one local council in our region was successful in the last round.

We need the very best projects from local councils to secure this funding.

Sarah Henderson is the Liberal federal member for Corangamite.