19 December 2023

Showcasing Geelong

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In October, Geelong’s vibrant business community came alive as over 140 entrepreneurs and leaders gathered for ICN Victoria’s regional showcase. This dynamic event was a hotspot for CEOs and business development managers from the region, providing a rare opportunity to dive into a staggering $17.2 billion investment landscape, spread across 164 ground breaking projects.

Throughout the event, ICN Victoria’s Peter McCracken, shared invaluable insights on how local businesses can tap into this wealth of opportunities. Ali Wastie, CEO of the City of Greater Geelong, kicked off the showcase with an inspiring overview of Geelong’s rapid growth. Now home to over 280,000 residents, Geelong is not just Victoria’s fastest-growing satellite city but also a hub of employment, especially in health care and construction. The city’s unemployment rate has impressively dropped from nearly 8% in 2015 to just 2.9% in September 2023.

The event spotlighted two major projects: the Hanwha Defense Australia Armoured Vehicle Centre of Excellence (H-ACE) and the Nyaal Banyul Geelong Convention and Event Centre. Kevin Foard from Hanwha Defense Australia outlined the diverse needs of the H-ACE project, from casting and textiles to machining and fabrication. He also highlighted the Australian Government’s Supply Chain Uplift Program, offering grants up to $100,000 for potential suppliers.

Josh Pozzebon from Built captured the audience attention with updates on the convention and event centre, a key piece in the Geelong City Deal. This 10-year initiative aims to rejuvenate Geelong and enhance the Great Ocean Road’s allure for visitors. The convention centre project, backed by State, Federal, and Local governments, is set to be a landmark development, with completion targeted for early 2026.

The showcase was also graced by Local Jobs First Commissioner Moana Weir, who emphasized the importance of local industry growth and participation. She encouraged SMEs to engage proactively to overcome barriers and seize fair opportunities.

Partners of ICN Victoria, including Social Traders, Kinaway, and the Geelong Manufacturing Council, added to the event’s rich tapestry. Attendees left the showcase buzzing with enthusiasm, having gained valuable insights and networking opportunities.

For those keen to learn more about these transformative projects, detailed information is available on the Hanwha Defense Australia Armoured Vehicle Centre of Excellence and the Nyaal Banyul Geelong Convention and Event Centre Gateway pages.

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