Ideal Home for Comcare

Message from the mayor - Councillor Bruce Harwood

As Victoria’s second largest city-region, and a city that is building its reputation as an international social insurance centre of excellence, Geelong is the ideal home for Comcare.

Geelong is proud to be home to the headquarters of the Transport Accident Commission, National Disability Insurance Agency and Worksafe.

It’s no coincidence that these leading organisations have chosen Geelong.

We offer an enviable lifestyle in close proximity to Melbourne, a growing community and a thriving, connected economy, full of opportunity.

Geelong has fantastic credentials in the education, healthcare, social insurance and social investment sectors.

The relocation of Comcare would further boost our strengths and leadership in this space and Comcare would benefit from joining a strong and established presence in the social insurance sector.

Geelong is also transitioning to a globally competitive and sustainable city, diversifying into advanced manufacturing, as well as being home to a world-class university which is positioning our city-region as a knowledge economy and innovation hub.

Geelong makes sense whichever way you look at it.

An affordable lifestyle, supportive business and community networks, access to leading education and research, population growth and highly skilled labour make Geelong the ideal choice.

Comcare, we welcome you.

Executive Summary

The Australian Government has announced its interest in decentralising a number of Canberra-based departments to regional areas. The intention is to improve regional and rural access to government jobs, ease the pressure on capital cities and provide public servants with better access to affordable housing and other community and lifestyle benefits.

We believe one of the agency’s that could be under consideration for relocation is Comcare. Comcare is the statutory authority that administers the Commonwealth’s workers’ compensation scheme and provides expert advice on occupational health and safety and workers’ compensation issues.

The agency’s strategic focus is to “support participation and productivity through healthy and safe workplaces that minimise the impact of harm in workplaces covered by Comcare”.

Comcare delivers its objectives by working with employers, workers and stakeholders to ensure best practice and sustainable outcomes.

We believe the relocation of Comcare to the city of Geelong – Victoria’s second largest city – would ensure the agency could continue to build on its reputation as a leading national insurer and regulator within a knowledgeable and supportive environment.

Geelong is more than capable, ready and willing to support Comcare in achieving its goals of excellence in scheme management and design, along with effective and efficient operations.

Just one hour from Melbourne, Geelong has the capacity to deliver a range of significant advantages for the potential relocation of Comcare.

Foremost is Geelong’s proven track record of successful government agency relocations with the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and WorkSafe already calling Geelong home after moving their headquarters from Melbourne. The establishment of the new National Disability Insurance Agency in our waterfront city is currently underway.

The addition of Comcare would further enhance Geelong’s growing reputation as a leading national and international centre for social insurance activities.

The Geelong offer to Comcare includes:

  • an existing highly established social insurance eco-system
  • the benefit of experience in relocating social insurance headquarter agencies
  • a large growing city less than an hour from the heart of Melbourne
  • the ability to draw from a wide network of highly skilled and talented local workers
  • increased opportunities for career progression in the social insurance sector
  • access to nation-leading education and research institutions
  • reliable transport connectivity
  • prime sites available for redevelopment in Central Geelong
  • attractive housing affordability and lifestyle choices
  • excellent recreational and sporting facilities
  • a welcoming community fully supportive of ensuring the region has a strong and sustainable future.

The relocation of important federal agencies ideally complements Greater Geelong’s A Clever and Creative Future, which aims to position Geelong as a clever and creative city region well into the future.

We believe relocating Comcare to Geelong presents a range of unique opportunities for both partners in this venture. Comcare stands to join an already strong and established insurance sector, whilst Geelong has the opportunity to build and ensure an exciting future for our city, with a growing economy and increased job opportunities for future generations.

Elaine Carbines - Chief Executive Officer, G21 Geelong Region Alliance

The G21 Region will play an important role in advancing Victoria to 2050. The decentralisation of government agencies, specifically Comcare to Geelong, will help secure a strong and robust economy for the future by building on our existing expertise and stimulating employment opportunities in a broad range of sectors. The opportunities for the G21 community are vast.

Rebecca Casson - Chief Executive Officer, Committee for Geelong

Geelong, as Victoria’s second largest city, is ideally positioned to drive social insurance expertise and innovation. Agencies located in Geelong have already experienced benefits through collaborations, improved efficiencies and attraction of allied businesses. There is enormous opportunity to build on this into the future and lead the world from Geelong on social insurance.

Joe Calafiore - Chief Executive Officer, Transport Accident Commission

The TAC came to Geelong in 2009 and since that time we've gone from strength to strength. The TAC would warmly welcome Comcare to the nation's growing social insurance hub.

228,000 labour pool with 50% employed in an industry relevant to social insurance.

Greater Geelong’s Population is expected to increase by 80,000 by 2036.

$17 billion gross regional product with average annual growth of 4.6%.

Geelong has a diverse and robust Economy with over 17,000 businesses.

Geelong - an ideal fit for Comcare

The recently released Greater Geelong’s: A Clever and Creative Future, positions Geelong as a smart, vibrant and sustainable city of the future linked to Melbourne, Australia and the world. More than 16,000 people contributed to the development of the vision, which focused on critical issues such as transport, tourism, housing, and law and order.

The substantial community contribution to planning Geelong’s future clearly demonstrates our commitment to exploring every opportunity to grow our city and maintain its status as a strong, stable and unique place to do business, while also supporting Victoria as our state’s second largest city.

Recent Federal Government inquiries into the decentralisation of government bodies to regional areas has stimulated discussion about opportunities for Geelong.

Geelong is a highly desirable destination for a range of decentralised government agencies given the size of our city and region, the breadth of our labour market, our supporting infrastructure and expertise, and our welcoming community.

A well-established social insurance hub already exists within Geelong. Leading sector agencies and organisations including the Transport Accident Commission, WorkSafe and the National Disability Insurance Agency are currently based here.

These key organisations provide opportunities for future growth, development and collaborations across the sector. Together with Comcare, they can ensure Geelong is the global leader in the social insurance sector.

Bernadette Uzelac - Chief Executive Officer, Geelong Chamber of Commerce

Our region has a proven track record of successfully relocating large government agencies and headquarter operations. Geelong’s vibrant economy, skilled and talented workforce, diversity of businesses and wide ranging employment opportunities coupled with unparalleled lifestyle advantages are fundamental to this success.

Geelong – the offer

Located to leverage opportunity

Geelong is strategically positioned only one hour from metropolitan Melbourne. There are strong dual-city linkages between the two cities.

The Victorian Government’s Plan Melbourne 2017 – 50 provides a strategic framework for accommodating and capitalising on the strong population and economic growth earmarked for metropolitan Melbourne to 2050. Forecasts predict Melbourne’s population will grow from 4.5 million to 7.9 million people. 

Plan Melbourne specifically refers to growing Geelong by prioritising land-use strategies that position the region for accelerated growth and becoming a centre of employment for the state. It also refers to the population services sector (such as the healthcare and social assistance industries) as drivers of strong employment growth in regional Victoria.

Professor Jane den Hollander AO - President and Vice-Chancellor, Deakin University

Ranked in the top two per cent of universities globally, and number one for learning satisfaction in Victoria, Deakin University is delivering world-class education to its 55,000 students. Its multidisciplinary approach and close partnerships with industry deliver innovation in research for Geelong’s social insurance sector in a broad range of areas including: materials science, safety and quality of health care, rehabilitation, health economics, assistive technology, data analytics and intelligent systems.

Geelong is welcoming triple the number of residents per annum compared to 10 years ago (+6,196 residents @ 2.6%pa to 30 June 2017).

Diverse economy

Geelong has a diverse and robust economy.

During recent years Geelong’s economic base has mirrored global trends. We have responded to the economic challenges to ensure Geelong has a vibrant and sustainable future, which builds on our competitive advantages and embraces new opportunities.

We have diverse expertise and capabilities in fields such as innovation and research, health and allied services (social insurance), education, advanced manufacturing, the visitor economy, creative and entrepreneurial industries, information and communications technology and agribusiness.

+15,900 new jobs in greater Geelong between 2011 and 2016 Growth of 3.7% per annum outstripping population growth.

Room to accommodate development

Geelong offers abundant choice when it comes to accommodating development. 

Central Geelong, located on the shores of Corio Bay, is the city’s central business district, driving retail and commercial activity. It also delivers a strong social, residential and cultural centre catering to workers, residents, students, visitors and events.

Revitalising Central Geelong sets out the Victorian Government’s action plan to deliver a city centre that will attract new jobs and sustainable growth.

Major investments such as the new WorkSafe and National Disability Insurance Agency headquarters, Deakin University student accommodation, Barwon Water headquarters, Geelong Library and Heritage Centre and Geelong Performing Arts Centre/Geelong Gallery are leading the transformation of Central Geelong’s infrastructure, which will help to create a more vibrant, edgy, connected and contemporary city centre, reflecting the growing status of Victoria’s second largest city.

Lisa Line - Chief Executive Officer, The Gordon TAFE

Our role is to drive the workforce of the future by working with Geelong businesses and our community to deliver specialised and tailored training and education services that are responsive to meet local needs. We welcome the opportunity to support the social insurance sector.

Infrastructure to support success

Geelong boasts transport and logistics infrastructure that is not typically found outside a capital city.

V/line rail services operate every 10 minutes weekday peak times, connecting Geelong with Melbourne in just
60 minutes.

Only 20 minutes from central Geelong is Avalon Airport, Victoria’s second airport, with regular flights to Sydney, the Gold Coast and Adelaide. By the end of 2018, Avalon Airport will also offer international flights to Kuala Lumpur, providing access to over 130 destinations throughout Asia.

A service to Canberra is also under consideration. Avalon is serviced by the international aviation transport company Skybus, enabling passengers to connect easily into Geelong and Melbourne.

Melbourne International Airport is located 60 minutes from Geelong, with transit bus services available from central Geelong.

Talent and capability

Geelong’s greatest asset is its people.

Geelong has a healthy economy and jobs market. We pride ourselves on being responsive to market trends and proactive when it comes to the ever-changing work environment.

Our labour force is talented and adaptable, with the ability to meet a diverse range of employer needs. Geelong’s labour pool reach is broad, with talent easily sourced from centres within a 60 minute commute, including Melbourne’s western suburbs, the Surf Coast, Ballarat and Colac.

Positive community and business leadership

Geelong’s community and business leaders have a positive ‘can do’ attitude to realising the city’s full potential, and they – along with the broader community – champion projects that will contribute to the sustainable economic development of the city.

Experience the Geelong way of life

Geelong enjoys all the benefits of being within arm’s reach of a capital city while being free of the constraints of big city living.

Housing choice, a strong commercial and retail heart, internationally recognised education facilities, and comprehensive health services are all located in a picturesque bayside and coastal setting.

Geelong – social insurance hub

Geelong has a highly established social insurance eco-system that supports agencies such as Comcare.

Comcare has multiple offices across Australia, including a significant base in Melbourne.

The relocation to Geelong of the Transport Accident Commission, and more recently WorkSafe and the establishment of the National Disability Insurance Agency, have been catalysts for lifting Geelong’s national
and international profile and credentials as a social insurance hub.

Additional activity in this sector, such as the relocation of Comcare, has the potential to deliver enormous economic development and job creation outcomes for Geelong in a number of ways:

  • increasing efficiencies by strengthening collaborations and partnerships, procurement opportunities, information sharing, identifying prospects, addressing challenges and promoting local competitive advantages
  • fostering and driving social insurance excellence through strong linkages between business, industry, entrepreneurs, and research and education institutions to effect real change and thought leadership in areas such as digital transformation
  • attracting and expanding social insurance activities including professional and business support activities, service suppliers and other allied support.

Professor Ruth Salom - Chief Executive Officer, Barwon Health

Barwon Health plays a key role in supporting the social insurance sector with specialised health services and preeminent rehabilitation expertise.

We have a strong track record in collaborating with other agencies, including the TAC. The most recent example being the development of the Sunrise Centre, a rehabilitation centre located at Simonds Stadium developed in partnership with the TAC.

Geelong – Benefit of experience

Geelong has proven experience when it comes to successfully relocating established government agencies.

Two successful decentralisation examples are Victoria’s Transport Accident Commission and WorkSafe.

Both organisations have reported the successful move as a ‘transformational journey’ that has allowed each agency to continue their purpose and vision, whilst enabling a largely positive experience for staff.

Joe Calafiore - Chief Executive Officer, Transport Accident Commission

Since relocating to Geelong, the TAC has achieved record client outcome scores, our highest ever level of staff satisfaction and continually strong balance sheets. Our experience shows that Geelong has everything a social insurance agency needs to be successful.

What experience tells us

Organisation workforce

Maximising staff retention

  • Relocation to Geelong, a robust city offering housing affordability, lifestyle choices, mix of schools and education, employment opportunities for partners and proximity to a capital city is a huge workforce attractor. 
  • Flexible employee relocation packages support employee decision making.
  • A temporary office base in Geelong encouraging employees to experience the move before committing is beneficial. 
  • Engaging with local Geelong organisations to provide forums for information exchange for employees and their families to assist with decision-making is well received.

Staff turnover

  • The relocation of any agency will result in some natural turnover of personnel. Relocation is not an option for all employees for a variety of reasons. Staged moves where staff can trial the Geelong environment have proven to be advantageous to transitioning the workforce.

Geelong capability – filling the gaps

  • Recruitment from the Geelong labour market has exceeded expectations. The depth, diversity and talent of the workforce at all levels has enabled a smooth transition.
  • Recruitment from the local labour market has resulted in low staff turnover rates.
  • There is enormous support for training and up-skilling via Deakin University and The Gordon TAFE.
  • The establishment of a social insurance hub in Geelong provides an ideal basis for career progression opportunities for existing staff and the wider community.

Clare Amies - Chief Executive Officer, WorkSafe Victoria

Geelong’s social insurance hub offers career pathways within the sector at all levels, as well as collaboration of leadership and strategy development.“

Organisation refresh

The relocation process for both the TAC and WorkSafe has provided a platform for delivering an organisation-wide refresh of purpose, vision, mission and structure.

Facilities fit for purpose

Relocation to Geelong has provided both the TAC and WorkSafe with the opportunity to build state-of-the-art facilities providing contemporary workplaces that are fit for purpose. This has also enabled the construction of modern sustainable offices that are 5 and 6 Green Star rated.

Organisation to organisation mentoring

As good corporate citizens, agencies that have relocated to Geelong have shared their learnings, experience and relationships, and have even offered temporary accommodation to new arrivals to the city.

Welcoming business community

The welcoming spirit of the Geelong community and its leaders is very attractive for agencies considering relocation.

Geelong – the economic impact

Economic impact report

In February 2018, the City of Greater Geelong commissioned a report to assess the economic impact of relocating a federal government agency the size of Comcare to Geelong (City of Greater Geelong, Economic Impact Assessment, Potential Office Relocation, and February 2018). The economic analysis was undertaken using REMPLAN – regional economic modelling and planning system.

The scenario

This summary focuses on the scenario of relocating both Comcare Melbourne and Comcare Canberra with a total of 600 direct jobs. The report identifies the direct and flow-on economic impacts in three phases:

  1. the construction phase
  2. operations phase and
  3. the additional impact of relocating families.

Victorian government support

The Victorian Government supports the proposal to relocate Comcare to Geelong. The Premier has highlighted the opportunity to incorporate Comcare relocation in the Geelong City Deal to strengthen the social insurance hub.

Key findings

The economic impact of relocating a federal government agency to Geelong is significant for both the region and the state.

The impact of these direct jobs combined with the flow on impacts and relocating family impacts would result in an estimated 1,871 ongoing jobs in the local economy.

This represents a final employment multiplier of 3.0, meaning that for every direct job supported by the relocation, it is estimated that a further 2 jobs are supported in the broader local economy once flow on supply-chain and household consumption effects are taken into account.

This single project alone would boost Gross Regional Product by approximately 1.98%, which is almost half of the total average annual increase in GRP of 4.38% over the past five years. 

A boost to local value-added of $208 million per annum representing grp growth of 2% - almost half the average annual increase.

Local construction impacts

With a conservative 34% local procurement estimate (based on recent projects in Geelong), it is estimated that the construction of a new office building to accommodate 600 staff would:

  • Inject $59.8 million of revenue into the Geelong economy for the duration of construction
  • Support 86 local jobs over the construction period with associated wages and salaries of $11.6 million
  • Increase local value-added (or Gross Regional Product) by $22.4 million during the build and
  • Generate a value-added multiplier of 3.0, meaning that for every dollar of direct value-added created by the project another $2.0 is generated elsewhere in the local economy due to the strong construction supply-chain.

Construction impact assumptions


  • New office building = 9,000 square metres (15 square metres per staff member based on recent Geelong developments)

Estimated Cost:

  • $72 million ($8,000 per square metre based on recent office projects in Geelong)

Local Procurement:

  • 34% procurement in Greater Geelong (based on recent projects)
  • Total Spend within Greater Geelong = $24.5 million


  • Construction period of two years with 50% of total expenditure per year.

Victorian Construction Impact

From a state perspective that assumes 100% Victorian procurement, the construction impacts would be much larger than the local Geelong impacts with only a 34% local procurement estimate.  It is estimated that state output would increase by $221.6 million during the two year build, supporting 315 Victorian jobs.

315 Victorian jobs supported during the construction phase.

Ongoing operational impact

It is estimated that the operation of an organisation like Comcare in Geelong would:

  • Inject $413.8 million of output or revenue into the local economy annually ($197.7 million direct output and $216.1 million indirect output from the supply-chain and consumption spending);
  • Support 1,390 jobs (600 direct and 790 flow-on jobs) with associated wages and salaries of $121.4 million per annum;
  • Increase local value-added (or Gross Regional Product) by $207.6 million; and
  • Generate a value-added multiplier of 2.2, meaning that for every dollar of direct value-added created another $1.20 is generated elsewhere in the local economy.

Operation Impact Assumptions

The 600 direct jobs have been modelled in the following industries:

  • Public administration and regulatory services - 30%
  • Computer systems design and related services - 30%
  • Insurance and superannuation funds - 20%
  • Professional, scientific and technical services - 12%
  • Employment and other administrative services - 8%

It has been assumed that all staff will relocate although it is likely that some staff will choose not to move and this will reduce the number of new arrivals to the city.  However, these jobs will offer new employment opportunities within the Geelong region.

Family impact

Many of the relocated staff will be accompanied by their families, including spouses who will join the workforce and contribute additional economic capacity to the Geelong region.

It is estimated that the economic impacts associated with working spouses could have the potential to contribute:

  • An additional 253 direct jobs and 228 indirect jobs; and
  • Up to $136.7 million in additional economic output.

The relocation could mean that Geelong would welcome an additional 1,363 people and could readily satisfy demand for 559 dwellings through existing housing stock and new residential development.

Geelong is ready to welcome 1,363 new residents with ample and diverse housing supply

Family impact assumptions

Based on Australian Bureau of Statistics and REMPLAN data, it was estimated that 253 workers will have working spouses.

A sectoral employment breakdown was applied to this figure and an assessment undertaken of the economic impact generated by the influx of these new workers in the local economy.

86 Local jobs supported during construction of a new building (315 Victorian jobs).

1,871 Ongoing jobs created.

Potential to boost employment growth by 2% and build on Geelong’s job growth momentum and strengthen industry diversity.

Geelong - A city for living that just makes good sense

Geelong offers the best of both city and regional living, with the perfect environment to balance work and home-life. 

Geelong’s property market is buoyant and offers a range of lifestyle choices – inner city, suburban, waterfront, coastal and rural.

Homes in Geelong offer exceptional value for money when compared to similar properties in Melbourne. There is a healthy supply of land in a range of locations which can accommodate substantial growth. There is further strategic work underway to ensure healthy levels of future land supply.

A key asset is accessibility. For a large and vibrant city, movement in and around Geelong and its hinterlands is comfortable. Congestion, delays, and time wasted in traffic are not part of the Geelong way of life. Travel
times between central Geelong, the coast, parklands and sporting facilities are all within 20 minutes.

Geelong’s schools – including Geelong Grammar, The Geelong College, Kardinia International College, Christian College, St Joseph’s College, Sacred Heart College and Belmont High School – boast some of the best and most sought-after facilities in Australia.

The region offers a ‘turquoise lifestyle’ that blends our magnificent bay, coastal and river precincts to inspire water based living together with our pristine green open spaces that deliver a wide choice of recreational activities including golf, sailing, surfing, cycling and windsurfing just to name a few.

Geelong is spoilt for choice when it comes to gourmet eateries and wine bars, theatre, movies, galleries, community events and entertainment.

The city is home to more than 17,000 businesses including a large range of retail outlets, with most major national outlets having a presence in Geelong.

Our community is supported by a comprehensive range of healthcare services and community organisations.

In essence, Geelong offers the best of both worlds – all the advantages of city living without the constraints of big-city living.

Median house price (3 bedrooms): Geelong $520,000, Melbourne $855,000, Canberra $754,000.

Rail services from Geelong to Melbourne run every 10 minutes (Peak hour weekdays).

Geelong’s commute time is half the Australian average.

Reduced cost of living in Geelong compared to Melbourne.

Gourmet cafés, wine bars, fine dining restaurants, Bellarine Peninsula and Moorabool valley wineries makes Geelong a Foodie's Paradise.

Are you exploring opportunities for your business?

Contact Economic Development, City of Greater Geelong to learn more.

100 Brougham Street
PO Box 104
Geelong VIC 3220

Phone: 03 5272 4888
Email: [email protected]

Page last updated: Friday, 19 June 2020