The Barwon Regional Partnership expands from the famous Great Ocean Road coastline to the Otway forests, from rich farmland to the streets of Victoria’s biggest regional city, Geelong. The region spans spectacular and diverse landscapes. Equipped with a dynamic economy, a strong manufacturing and processing sector, there is great potential for growth in the professional services, tourism, international education, healthcare, Information and Communication Technologies and agribusiness sectors.

The Barwon Regional Partnership includes the local government areas of:

Following engagement with its community throughout 2017, the Barwon Regional Partnership has developed its advice to the Victorian Government on its regional priorities.

The Barwon Regional Partnership’s advice for 2017 included:

  • Education and training:  
    • Internet capacity and access to digital learning and cloud based resources to improved educational and future job outcomes
    • Improve the learning and development of vulnerable children in the early years by building parents’ capacity as first educators through well targeted programs and support
    • Raise educational aspirations and improve educational engagement and achievement rates of school aged children and young people particularly in disadvantaged communities
    • Maximise the opportunity for young people to access meaningful, sustainable future focused work
    • Ensure successful post school transitions for all young people by addressing factors which create barriers and entrench disadvantage
  • Transforming industries and jobs for the future:  
    • Leveraging Barwon’s regional competitive advantages to grow industry and jobs
    • Addressing enabling infrastructure barriers to existing and future investment opportunities
    • Examination of Barwon’s existing and future skills demand requirements focusing on innovation and productivity
  • Ensuring an inclusive, safe, healthy and resilient community for all:
    • Housing and homelessness
    • Best practice, early interventions and place based approaches
    • Community Safety
  • Making the city and town centres places people want to live and visit:
    • Revitalise Central Geelong to thrive and be recognised locally and globally
    • Support the role that small town centres play in servicing local residents and attracting visitors to the region
  • Improving the transport network across the region: 
    • Increase the rail service volume between Geelong and Melbourne, the frequency of rail services between Geelong – Colac – Warrnambool and establish the public transport connection to Torquay/Surf Coast
    • Further develop transport infrastructure and services planning to enable a truly integrated, accessible, progressive and sustainable private, public and active transport network, joining key population growth areas of Geelong, Bellarine and Surf Coast
    • Enable more productive use of train travel for commuters between the Barwon Region and Melbourne
  • Building the visitor economy throughout the region:
    • Actively contribute to the development and management of the Great Ocean Road
    • Support and facilitate transformative visitor economy projects for the Barwon region
    • Support investment in related tourism assets and to leverage the Great Ocean Road
  • Protecting the region's natural assets and reducing the impacts of climate change:
    • Mitigate the impacts of climate change and sea level rise
    • Protect high value natural assets and maintain the region's biodiversity
    • Advance new technologies and innovation in the generation and application of renewable energy and energy storage

You can find out more about the Barwon Regional Partnership’s priorities here.