$100,000 for G21's GROW project

The State Government is investing $100,000 from its $1 billion Regional Growth Fund to develop a business plan designed to generate jobs for disadvantaged people and support new infrastructure projects and services in Geelong.

Member for Western Victoria David Koch said today that funding to project partners, Geelong Regional Alliance (G21) and the Give Where You Live group would boost business and job opportunities and improve community connections.

“This project, called G21 Region Opportunities for Work, or GROW, is strongly focused on developing a plan to create sustainable jobs as a way of counteracting social disadvantage in the Geelong region.

“Joblessness is one of the consistent features of disadvantage in this region and in Australia more generally. Disadvantage and unemployment go hand in hand with lower levels of education, low skilled occupations and particular population groups.

“GROW seeks to address place-based disadvantage to achieve sustainable change in employment by focusing on developing market-based schemes, alongside social and people centred strategies, to cut unemployment.

“Integrated strategies are needed because just generating jobs will not necessarily lead to opportunities in more disadvantaged locations.

“What is required is sustained, systemic intervention into disadvantaged communities to tackle intergenerational unemployment and associated poverty.

“G21 and Give Where You Live have significant organisational membership from local government, business, not for profit and community organisations across the five municipalities in the region. And they have strong relationships with State and Federal Government Agencies.

“The GROW business planning project will produce a model which will enhance the scale and effectiveness of existing projects and strategies by adding a structured framework of collaboration and measurement that uses a collective impact approach.

“In that way initiatives will more likely achieve real change in relation to agreed targets and investment is less likely to be duplicated or spent on non-sustainable initiatives.”

Mr Koch said the State Government funding towards the $200,000 project would be provided through the Regional Growth Fund to Give Where You Live which, in partnership with G21 and local Councils, is contributing $100,000 in cash and in-kind.

“The Regional Growth Fund is investing in community-led projects to strategically drive jobs,investment and innovation in rural and regional Victoria,” Mr Koch said.

“Since it was established in 2011, the Regional Growth Fund has delivered more than $400 million, generating around $1.6 billion of total investment across more than 1440 projects.”

In Greater Geelong, the Regional Growth Fund has provided $27.7 million to 33 projects, leveraging $372 million in total investment. Those projects include:

  • $500,000 for the $1,500,000 Revitalisation of Laneways in Central Geelong project
  • $300,000 for the $555,000 Bellarine Rail Trail Pathway Improvement project
  • $500,000 towards the $2,400,000 Austin Park Redevelopment.

The G21 Region Opportunities for Work business plan is expected to be completed in 2014 as the road map for the project. Give Where You Live has committed to a ten year program of implementation.

Source: Media release David Koch MP