The Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) welcomes a landmark agreement by the Local, State and Federal Governments towards a $355 million City Deal in Geelong. This ten-year partnership to revitalise the city will become a game-changer for Geelong and regional Victoria’s proposition as a world-class visitor and business events destination.
While this deal will cement the position of Geelong and the Great Ocean Road as a premier destination in Australia, there remains a vital missing transport link from this equation.
VTIC Chief Executive Felicia Mariani said: “in order to truly capitalise on the value potential of the Geelong City Deal, it is vital that Victoria dedicates investment towards transport infrastructure to offer visitors world-class travel experiences and confidence in utilising alternative means of transportation around our State.”
The Queenscliff to Sorrento Ferry is Australia’s busiest passenger and car ferry service. Over the next 13 years, there is projected to be an extra 3.7 million people visiting the Mornington Peninsula region every year, which will bring additional capacity constraints to the service.
The two terminals at Queenscliff and Sorrento currently suffer from inadequate facilities, aging shelter facilities and traffic congestion. VTIC urges the State Government to invest five million dollars towards the redevelopment of the two ferry terminals in Queenscliff and Sorrento to complement the $10 million investment already committed by the Federal Government as part of the Geelong City Deal, $20 million by Searoad Ferries and one million dollars by the Mornington Peninsula Shire, making it a $36 million project overall.
“The completion of the Geelong City Deal is a landmark occasion for regional Victoria and an important example of Government collaboration. However, if we want to truly offer world-class infrastructure to our visitors, we must harness our competitive advantage in short-distance ferry transport and redevelop the Queenscliff to Sorrento Ferry Terminals.
“These terminals are an important part of the visitor arrival and departure experience and this development transforms this product from a passenger ferry service to a high-quality tourism product across the iconic Port Phillip Bay.
“If we want our international visitors to access and spend in regional Victoria, we must give them the confidence to do so by integrating infrastructure, attractions, experiences and reliable transport solutions. The completion of the Ferry Terminals will unlock significant potential and economic value for regional communities on either side of the Bay.
“Both business and leisure event travellers can plan multi-night itineraries with the assurance that they will encounter superior travel experiences throughout their journey. This is how we can really capitalise on the value of the City Deal initiative,” Ms Mariani said.