Ministers statements: Geelong city deal

Mr PALLAS (Treasurer) (11:33:44) — I rise to update the house on the progress of the Geelong city deal. Like a Dickensian novel, it is a tale of two budgets. In Victoria it is the best of times. The Victorian budget of 2018–19 invests $153.2 million towards the deal. It is an investment towards building the convention centre, progressing the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan and of course advancing the strategy to revitalise Geelong. So these are critical investments that will transform Geelong and the Shipwreck Coast. It is going to mean more investment, more visitors and more jobs. A big shout‑out to the members for Bellarine, Geelong and Lara for their continued advocacy for this vital investment.

These investments are investments in the Geelong community, and they are ones that they have been calling out for for quite some time. Recently the Committee for Geelong had this to say: they saw the funding that we had put in our budget as funding towards strategically important projects. They went on to say that of course what is needed is a federal government investment, which brings me to the second part of this tale: the worst of times. Last night the Turnbull government again failed the people of Geelong and the south‑west by not funding their share of the city deal. This comes at a time when the commonwealth have indicated their support for a city deal for Geelong, but it is a support in principle only. On 17 January we had the Prime Minister sign up to a city deal. They have been able to do one for Sydney, Townsville and Launceston, but of course they have let down the people of Geelong. We will not give up until this matter is resolved.