Council responds to state budget

May 8, 2024 6:12 am in by Andrew Johnston
Trent Sullivan [Supplied]

City of Greater Geelong has criticised the state over a lack of funding for the region in the state budget.

While two schools and a number of entertainment projects were funded, mayor Trent Sullivan says more infrastructure funding is essential in the short term to keep up with Geelong’s growing population.

“We understand the Victorian Government is facing a challenging economic climate and that controlling debt was to be a key focus of its 2024-25 budget.,” he said.

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“However, with Greater Geelong continuing to grow rapidly and playing an increasingly important role in the broader Victorian economy, the lack of new investment for our region is concerning.”

The mayor also targeted the Commonwealth Games legacy infrastructure.

“There is a glaring need in Geelong for a facility capable of hosting major events, elite level indoor sport such as basketball and netball, as well as grassroots competition.

“We were pleased that the Government listened to the community and cancelled the 25-metre swimming pool at Armstrong Creek as it did not service the community needs of the area.

“We requested the funding be redirected towards the development of a Regional Indoor and Events Centre for Geelong which is much needed. We are disappointed to see this not listed in the budget, especially at a time when women’s participation in sport continues to grow and our communities aspirations to showcase elite athletes in Geelong has never been stronger.

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“Council will continue to do its share by working in lock step with our key partners and community to see the much needed Regional Indoor Sports Centre realised. This is vital for our region as a whole and remains a priority project.

“While 74 social and affordable houses have been announced as part of the development of the planned Games Village site at Waurn Ponds, we are hoping to see detail on further local sites earmarked by the government for inclusion in the Big Housing Build.

“So far this has not been forthcoming and the need for housing is only getting greater.”