Collective Action Getting Results in the Great South Coast23/03/2018
Over the past 18 months, the Great South Coast Regional Partnership has told Government what is important for the region. We are pleased that our work has assisted in amplifying the voice of many others in our community who have advocated strongly for investment in the development of GSC.
Below is an update on some of our key regional priorities, while you can read about developments for GSC Food and Fibre, for rail and road projects in our region, and for digital connectivity by following the links to stories elsewhere in this newsletter.
Beyond the Bell
The Victorian Government is providing more than $1 million over the next three years for operational costs of the Beyond the Bell program, to keep young people in the Great South Coast region in school and engaged in their education.
Securing funding for this initiative was one of the Partnership’s 2016 priorities.
Beyond the Bell is an initiative that seeks to improve our young peoples’ chances of attaining Year 12 or equivalent, and helps them transition successfully into the next phase of their lives.
The announced funding provides certainty for Beyond the Bell to sustain its important work.
The program is going through an exciting time with the new Board members to be announced soon and a business plan under preparation. Planning is underway to deliver adaptive leadership training, joint action group forums, as well as rolling out the successful Stepping Stones initiative across the region.
Commencement of Implementation of the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan
In October, the Victorian Government announced $5 million to improve one of the state’s most popular tourist destinations with funding to implement early works on the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan.
This was the Great South Coast Regional Partnership’s top priority in 2016.
Maximising tourism opportunities is key to the economic success of the Great South Coast.
The Shipwreck Coast attracts 2.6 million visitors every year but this can cause congestion on the roads detracting from the visitor experience and with the potential to impact the natural environment.
The $5 million of early works on the Master Plan includes initiatives to improve and better manage the flow of traffic and safety for pedestrians, and comprehensive planning for a vastly improved arrival experience at the national park, such as a Park and Ride shuttle service over the medium term.
The early works funding is in addition to $9.8 million already invested to deliver Stage One of the Shipwreck Coast Masterplan. Stage One will be delivered by 2020 and include new lookouts at the Twelve Apostles and ‘The Blowhole’, a new pedestrian bridge over Campbell’s Creek, new connecting trails, improved telecommunications and a digital interpretation platform focused on the Twelve Apostles.
Earlier this month, the Government announced the appointment of architects, Denton Corker Marshall, who have designed the Melbourne Museum, Melbourne Exhibition Centre and the Museum of Sydney, to undertake the design of Stage One. Key design partners McGregor Coxall and Arup have also been engaged.
Signing of the Geelong City Deal in January 2018 signals the national importance of the Great Ocean Road. All three levels of government have agreed to work together to benefit the Great Ocean Road region.
Design for Stage 2 redevelopment of South West Healthcare
The Government’s commitment in the 2017/18 State Budget of $7.5m to prepare for the redevelopment of South West Healthcare is fantastic news for our region.
This funding enables completion of all the planning and tender stages in advance of construction. The design and documentation associated with the construction of the multi-million dollar hospital in Warrnambool is extensive and this funding paves the way to complete the masterplan in its entirety.
The first stage of the redevelopment, worth $115m, was completed in 2011. At the time it was the largest redevelopment of its kind ever undertaken by a Victorian Government, resulting in part of the Warrnambool Base Hospital and Community Health precinct being redeveloped.
The next stage of the upgrade is currently being scoped and aims to address many of the remaining outdated onsite facilities. This includes, but is not limited to, the redevelopment of the emergency department, operating theatres, short stay unit, mental health inpatient unit, pathology/radiology block, outpatient consulting suites and support services. The construction of another multi-storey carpark is also planned.
The master planning process is well underway with the preferred hospital design option expected to be announced in the first part of this year.
The Government formed the South West Healthcare Community Advisory Group in 2017 to ensure the community can express its views on the services needed as part of the redevelopment.
Artist Drawings of South West Healthcare
Warrnambool Special Development School
Students at Warrnambool Special Developmental School got an early Christmas present in December with the Government announcing $14.6 million to build a brand new school.
In the 2015/16 State Budget, $5 million was allocated for the purchase of land for a new school, and for the development of a master plan for its future building needs.
The latest $14.6 million goes one step further and will ensure the school is completely re-built on the new site. This brings the total funding from the Government for the Warrnambool Special Development School to $19.6 million.