A wrtier in the Geelong Advertiser looks at what Geelong really needs, not what one or two people WANT.
The new library in Geelong is going up - here's what it is expected to look like.
What are the real priorities for Geelong?
DARYL MCLURE GEELONG ADVERTISER
we as a city do not know what we are fighting for, we will not get it,” Cr
Stretch Kontelj said before moving an unsuccessful amendment at the City of
Greater Geelong council meeting last week, to reinstate the Yarra St pier, as
its No. 1 funding priority. But a majority of councillors and not only
the usual opponents of Mayor Darryn Lyons — who has carried the torch for the
pier — voted to bring it back to equal billing with seven other priority
projects on the council wishlist.
Just what are the real priorities for
First, I would reckon a council that puts
politics aside and acts in the best interests of the whole community.
while it is probably a bonus to Geelong to have a flamboyant and outspoken
Mayor, at the end of the day, under the current system, he must be able to
motivate his fellow councillors to support him. And they should remember the
vast majority of ratepayers elected him because he promised to get things done.
Cr Lyons is finding out, as former mayor
Keith Fagg did before him, that it is not easy to get everyone on board at City
Paradoxically, the City of Greater Geelong
needs leadership and unity and a group of councillors prepared to look outside
their wards at the big picture items that will have a positive spin-off,
particularly in economic and employment terms, for the whole region.
I believe Cr Lyons has attempted to use his
position to give leadership, but I also have no doubt there is some hostility
to what might be perceived by some as his “one-man band” approach to getting
Geelong up and running.
But, in this instance, he has held out an
olive branch and expressed pleasure that council “reaffirmed Yarra St pier as a
top-funding priority project”.
“The pier and convention centre will be a
major economic driver for the region, delivering jobs and direct economic
benefit to local businesses,” Cr Lyons said.
So, where do we go from here?
While not being opposed to it, I have had my
doubts about the Yarra St pier when we already have the Cunningham Pier
apparently capable of hosting cruise liners.
Why spend $30 million if you can achieve a
similar result with an outlay of $2 million?
And, does that $30 million include dredging
a channel to the new pier, or is that tens of millions of dollars more? I
understand there is already a channel to Cunningham Pier that liners have used
in the past.
we be giving top priority to eight projects — most of which have been paraded
around for a decade or more — or be more selective and concentrate on fewer and
really prioritise them, especially in terms of their economic and employment
In all the debate in recent days, none of
our councillors appears to have quoted anything from Enterprise Geelong
Opportunity, which surely must have a major brief for getting Geelong up and
running. Its website is a mine of information and should attract widespread
interest from potential investors.
And, with the state election looming, G21
has certainly been pushing its priority projects — incorporating those of the
CoGG — and it has had some responses from both major parties.
Also last week, a Geelong deputation visited
Queensland to push the region’s case for the $10 billion Land 400 armoured
This, too, is one of the region’s priority
Another priority project is $2.5 million for
a feasibility study and business plan for a Geelong convention and exhibition
centre. Has the CoGG followed up its “informal” meeting with Lawrence Elms
relating to his proposed convention centre-hotel-apartment development below
He saw it as a private development that
would not cost ratepayers-taxpayers anything.
Maybe last week’s Yarra St pier shake-up was needed to prompt all of us
to give more thought to where we are headed and what our priorities should be
Avalon and GPAC are notable absences from
the priority projects selected by councillors, but both are important to the
future of Geelong.