Sustainable Destination Masterplan
Tourism Greater Geelong and The Bellarine in November 2023 released a Sustainable Destination Master Plan for the region, a tourism industry led project that is intended to guide our visitor economy through its recovery and beyond over the next decade.
Utilising industry insights, research and an analysis of current and forecast visitor and workforce statistics, the plan identifies opportunities for our region through investment in infrastructure, established and emerging markets and workforce needs to support our region’s growth.
The plan aims to balance economic priorities with the social, environmental, and cultural fabric of our region to help create a sustainable visitor economy that is prosperous and positive for all.
This new 10-year plan will replace Tourism Greater Geelong and The Bellarine's current Tourism Development Plan 2019-22.
Public Art Initiative
In 2019, the City of Greater Geelong’s Bellarine Ward Councillors invited the PCA to nominate priority projects for possible funding within our community. These projects were called our ‘2020-2021 Community Priorities’. You can read the list submitted to Council in December 2019 here.
Enhancing the beauty of, and place attachment to our town, was one of our PCA identified priorities. This inspired the PCA’s Public Art initiative and has been the subject of our fundraising activity over the past four years.
A survey was conducted in the community to inform the PCA activity in the area of public art – you can read the report here.
49 Newcombe Street
(As reported on Bay 93.9: September 26, 2023)
VCAT knocked back the plans for the four-story development at 49 Newcombe Street on Portarlington’s waterfront, finding it to be a repeat appeal on a previously rejected plans.
Proponents of the mixed commercial and residential application were advised to amend their plans after they were first rejected in 2021. A second application was later rejected by Geelong Council in May this year, with councillors noting it did not protect and enhance ‘the valued attributes of the area’, did not meet positive architectural thresholds and would be visually obtrusive from the Portarlington public foreshore.
VCAT was scathing of the proponents in their latest findings for refusal, noting applicants had failed to address shortcomings identified by an Advisory Committee that undertook ‘a comprehensive assessment of the previous proposal’. They said the applicants failed to adequately amend their earlier proposal, and that it was a repeat appeal without the flaws in the previous proposal being adequately addressed.
Geelong Mayor Trent Sullivan said it exposes problems in the planning system when applicants can resubmit a proposal with little alterations to the originally denied plan.
‘The outcome of this shows that we actually have an issue with planning in that essentially the same application can be rejected, rejigged slightly, and applied again,’ he said.
‘We need to have some thought, some sit-downs, some meetings to come together and say how can we stop essentially the same planning application coming forward time and time again, wasting time from the community, council resources and VCAT.’
Note: The Portarlington Community Association will continue to advocate for a resolution to use of this land that will meet with community approval.