The G21 region has a population of around 332,073 (ABS ERP 2018) people and covers 8972 sq km. It includes five municipalities: Colac Otway, Golden Plains, Greater Geelong, Queenscliffe and Surf Coast.
Geelong is the largest city in the region and the second largest city in Victoria. It overlooks Corio Bay and is the principal centre in the region for industry and service organisations.
Geelong’s bulk-handling port and the nearby Avalon Airport, together with the rapidly improving road and rail links, are significant infrastructure assets for the region.
These, together with an abundance of natural assets, make the region an attractive location for diverse business investment.
The region is increasingly sought after by people seeking a ‘sea-change’ or ‘tree-change’, and is a popular tourist and holiday destination. Communities on the Bellarine Peninsula and along the Surf Coast and Great Ocean Road grow significantly in population during the summer holiday season. The natural beauty of the Great Ocean Road and the Otway Ranges rain forests attract a significant international tourist trade throughout the year.
The region’s population is the fastest growing in Victoria, outside of the Melbourne metropolitan area.
The region’s central and western districts are highly productive agriculture areas and enjoy relatively high rainfall compared to many other parts of the state. The overall geography of the G21 region includes a unique blend of coast, mountain, farmland, rainforest and urban landscapes.
The region’s economy is diverse, boasting manufacturing, agriculture, horticulture, aquaculture, tourism, education, research, health and service sectors. Traditionally major heavy manufacturing had been the main employment sector, based around companies such as Ford, Viva Energy and Alcoa. However as the international economic climate impacts on large-scale manufacturers, leading to down-sizing or closure, the region has been gradually diversifying its employment base.
The region has long planned for the transition. New investment opportunities are grasped and fostered, creating growth in new industries. The region is already well down the track on crafting an economy based around education, health, scientific research, advanced manufacturing (such as composite fibre), innovative agribusiness, specialist insurance and personal injury services, state-of-the-art ICT, tourism and other key service industries.
The G21 region is closely integrated with Melbourne and neighbouring regional economies. The close proximity to Melbourne and its improving transport connections mean that many parts of the region are now within easy commuter distance of the state’s capital. Increasingly people are choosing the lifestyle advantages of living within the G21 region while regularly visiting Melbourne for business and pleasure.