Greater Geelong will get its first dedicated cabinet minister and its first ever state recognised metropolitan planning policy under the Liberal Nationals’ vision to plan for greater population and job growth in our second largest city.
Speaking to the Committee for Geelong, Opposition Leader Matthew Guy announced wide ranging plans to prepare a sustainable pro-growth future for Geelong including:
•The first ever dedicated Minister for Geelong, the first step of which will be the appointment of South Barwon MP Andrew Katos as Assistant Shadow Minister for Geelong;
•A new metropolitan planning policy for Geelong, the Surf Coast and Bellarine which will balance population growth with preserving productive farmland, green wedges and planning for new jobs centres across the suburbs;
•Commissioning Infrastructure Victoria to conduct a full audit of the Barwon region’s infrastructure to be presented to the Premier and Minister for Geelong within the first six months of coming to government; and
•Begin planning the further redevelopment of the Geelong Waterfront from the Botanical Gardens to Rippleside in a major project that will see a similar redevelopment to Thessaloniki, Greece.
These initiatives build on the Liberal Nationals’ commitments to appoint a Minister for Decentralisation and to produce Victoria’s first ever Population Plan in order to take population growth pressures off Melbourne and to create a state of cities, not just a city state.
“To ease the squeeze in Melbourne, we need to grow the whole state, not just Melbourne” said Matthew Guy MP, Leader of the Opposition.
“A Liberal National Government will properly plan our second largest city with a new metropolitan planning strategy, an audit of all infrastructure to identify clear gaps, the appointment of a dedicated Minister for Geelong and a major redevelopment of the Geelong Waterfront.” said Mr Guy, adding “It’s about time Geelong had a dedicated Minister, it’s about time government took Geelong seriously”.
Andrew Katos MP was proud to accept the position as Shadow Assistant Minister for Geelong, stating that he’s “proud to hold the portfolio of Assistant Shadow Minister for Geelong, the first time any party has given this portfolio as a distinct responsibility. It’s yet another sign that the Liberal Nationals take Geelong seriously and are dedicated to growing my city sustainably”.
“A new Minister for Geelong will be able to lobby for the city at the Cabinet table, not because they have a sentimental or residential attachment to the city, but because it will be their total job description to do so at all times” Mr Guy added at the announcement.
“I love Geelong, I was born and raised here and am raising my family in this city; I want to see Geelong have the tools to succeed” Mr Katos said.