Article by Cr Trent Sullivan
Geelong is riding a strong wave of investment and job creation.
We’ve got a diverse and modern economy, which has benefited from growth in health care, social assistance, professional services, and a range of creative and cultural industries.
Amid all of this change, it is a traditional titan that remains the greatest contributor to Geelong’s economic output.
The latest REMPLAN economy data shows the manufacturing industry contributes $7.3 billion annually to the region, accounting for nearly 19 per cent of our total output.
Future growth and diversification of the manufacturing industry is one of Geelong’s most exciting prospects.
Driven by innovation, research, and development, the advanced materials manufacturing sector has a focus on being high-value and having a global reach.
In recent weeks, the world has been coming to Geelong and learning more about our competitive advantages.
Through major events like the Avalon Airshow, and initiatives such as the UNESCO City of Design international network, we have forged connections with countless investors and businesses.
And with the right support, infrastructure, transport connections, and available land, we’re well positioned to cater to new and expanded ventures.
On the back of this momentum, a delegation of Geelong organisations and businesses are undertaking a trade mission to South Korea next week.
Led by the Geelong Manufacturing Council, the delegation will visit Seoul and Changwon.
Geelong’s ties with South Korea have been strengthened by Changwon’s own Hanwha Defense Australia choosing Avalon as the base for its entry into the Australian defence sector.
Construction is underway on Hanwha’s specialist armoured vehicle manufacturing plant, adjacent Avalon Airport.
The plant will build and maintain heavy artillery and ammunition resupply vehicles, as part of the Commonwealth Government’s Land 8116 project.
Hanwha is also drawing on the fist-class education and training we have available in Geelong, to upskill and support its local workforce.
Through agreements with Deakin University and The Gordon, the company will use simulation and machine learning applications as part of its training programs.
This work is another feather in the cap of Deakin’s advanced manufacturing innovation hub, called Manufutures.
Within five years of opening, the success of the unique concept has already led to the hub at Waurn Ponds basically doubling in size.
Through its facilities, programs, and services, Manufutures is stimulating investment and helping businesses that support next-generation manufacturing jobs.
Sport is another area we have developed strong ties.
Council’s Geelong Baseball centre is the home field for the Australian Baseball League team, Geelong-Korea.
With a growing local fan base and an estimated 20 million viewers in south-east Asia, we have a shared interest in seeing Geelong-Korea thrive in the national competition.
So across business, trade, investment, education, sport and other cultural pursuits, our developing relationship with South Korea presents numerous opportunities.
I know the Geelong delegation will sell our competitive strengths in South Korea, and I look forward to hearing the outcomes of the visit.
With Federal and State budgets on the horizon, Council has been advocating for the infrastructure and services we need, to attract further investment and stimulate economic activity.