ICTP - Context and further analysis

The Plan’s development was further informed by analysis of past and future trends influencing transport and land use within the City of Greater Geelong.

This included investigation of:

  • land use mix and key precincts
  • demographic and economic profiles
  • existing transport network(s).

Baseline and future conditions assessment

The City of Greater Geelong Local Government Area (LGA) is located 75 kilometres south west of Melbourne. In 2014, it had a population of 215,2001 making it Victoria’s largest regional City. Geelong serves as a regional hub for the Barwon Region.

The area is diverse and contains a mix of urban, peri urban, rural, national park and coastal environments. Together they represent a broad range of land use activity. Figure 3-1 summarises the strategic context of the City of Greater Geelong and highlights both the significant size of the study area and the diverse range of activities taking place within.

Figure 3-1

Figure 3-1 City of Greater Geelong Strategic context

Demographic and economic profile


The City of Greater Geelong’s population remained relatively stable for much of the 1980s and early 1990s. It has grown strongly in the past ten years, largely due to employment growth in service industries, as well as increased demand in coastal resort areas. Population growth has been concentrated most heavily in suburban Geelong, as well as Lara and Leopold, and on the Bellarine Peninsula.

Geelong’s close proximity to Melbourne, combined with good value for money in the housing market and a high standard of living, makes it an attractive residential development expansion zone. The expansion taking place in suburban Geelong to the south and west at Armstrong Creek and Marshall will accommodate a large proportion of this growth demand, as well as new development in nearby townships including Lara, Ocean Grove and Leopold.

Assuming that all accommodation and holiday homes are at capacity, the population within the City of Greater Geelong increases to 482,215 people on a peak holiday night. This represents a 70% increase on the permanent population2.

Workforce and key employment sectors

In 2011, the City of Greater Geelong had a workforce of 79,156 people, a six per cent increase on 2006. A total of 58.5 per cent of the City of Greater Geelong’s residents are employed full time, 31.5% per cent are working part time, and 5.3 per cent are unemployed.

Overall, the City of Greater Geelong’s economy is transitioning away from traditional manufacturing activity towards knowledge-based industries. Notwithstanding this, manufacturing still makes the largest contribution ($1.7 billion) to the City of Greater Geelong’s Gross Regional Product of $10.1 billion in 2012. Other major contributors include Rental, Hiring & Real Estate Services ($1.2b); Health Care and Social Assistance ($929m); and Financial and Insurance Services ($773m). A total of 85 per cent of the City of Greater Geelong’s workforce is sourced locally3.

Figures for Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula alone show that tourism generates $637 million into the local economy (2.5 per cent) and employs approximately 4,200 full time equivalent workers4.

Car ownership

More than 50 per cent of households in the City of Greater Geelong have two or more cars, which is slightly higher than in Melbourne, suggesting that people in the area are quite car dependant. Ninety three per cent of dwellings in the City of Greater Geelong have access to a motor vehicle, slightly above the Victorian average, as shown in Figure 3-2.

It is reasonable to assume that the ownership of vehicles correlates to use of these vehicles.

Figure 3-2

Figure 3-2 Car Ownership in City of Greater Geelong by Dwelling (2011 Census)

Mode split and journey to work

Eighty-six per cent of all trips in the City of Greater Geelong are undertaken by car. This is approximately seven per cent higher than the level of car use in Melbourne and broadly equal to car use across regional Victoria. On average, people in the City of Greater Geelong travel 10.9 kilometres to work which is about two thirds of the average for Metropolitan Melbourne, where people in most suburbs travel further to work.

Mode split information has been sourced from the Victorian Integrated Survey of Travel and Activity (VISTA) (shown in Figure 3-3). It illustrates how the City of Greater Geelong compares to both Melbourne and regional Victoria in terms of car use, public transport, walking and cycling.

Figure 3-3

Figure 3-3 Travel in the City of Greater Geelong by mode

Population health

Australia has the fifth highest5 obesity rate in the world, behind the United States, Mexico, New Zealand and the UK. Obesity is associated with a range of serious health risks resulting in reduced life expectancy from cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

The City of Greater Geelong has its own specific health challenges6, including:

  • Diabetes, with 8,487 people diagnosed in the City of Greater Geelong. This figure represents a 90 per cent increase since 2002–09.

  • Obesity, with 24,937 people within the City of Greater Geelong classified as obese in 2004–05, the highest percentage based in Corio – Inner7, Geelong, Geelong West and Bellarine - Inner8.

  • Aged care, with more people in the 50+ and 80+ age groups compared with the Victorian percentage share.

  • Disability, with approximately 40,523 people living in the City of Greater Geelong with some form of disability.


The City of Greater Geelong has strong links with Victoria’s wider transport networks, and it is a major Victorian transport hub. A high level summary of the City of Greater Geelong transport network is presented below.


Geelong’s primary road link to the wider region is the Princes Freeway (M1), which links the Geelong road network to Melbourne.

Many of the region’s highways converge in Geelong, including the regionally important Midland Highway, Hamilton Highway, Princes Highway and the Geelong- Bacchus Marsh Road, as well as the locally important Bellarine Highway and Surf Coast Highway. The completion of the Geelong Ring Road in early 2013, meant that all regional level highways now link with the M1, providing through access to Melbourne. Geelong is also the gateway to the Great Ocean Road scenic roadway, a popular tourist route.

The City of Greater Geelong maintains an extensive road network, including more than 1,600 kilometres of sealed roads and more than 470 kilometres of unsealed roads.

Rail services (including freight)

Geelong is linked by passenger rail to Melbourne and Warrnambool. Passenger services are provided by V/Line trains through the municipality’s eight stations.

Geelong also lies on the standard gauge9 network providing the main rail link between Melbourne and South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, with additional links to the Mallee grain lines. This rail link is used mostly by freight services, although it also carries some passenger services linking from Melbourne to Adelaide.

Bus services

Timetabled local bus services provide 1,198 services each weekday across 30 routes operating throughout the City of Greater Geelong metropolitan region and the Bellarine Peninsula. Most routes operate at peak headways of 30-60 minutes.

Bus services operate a reduced timetable on weekends, and a small number of routes do not operate on Saturday or Sunday. There are 43 per cent fewer Saturday services, and 59 per cent fewer Sunday services.

The majority of bus routes within the City of Greater Geelong provide access to the central area of Geelong terminating at the Moorabool Street bus interchange, with some providing links between towns within the region. The Moorabool Street bus interchange operates as a CBD terminus for Geelong bus routes and also provides for transfer opportunities between these bus routes. The bus interchange at Geelong Railway Station provides a transfer opportunity between Geelong town bus routes and regional V/Line coach and train services.

A large proportion of bus services operating in Geelong are wheelchair accessible, with wheelchair accessible services marked prominently on timetables.

Regional coach routes operated by V/Line provide services to Warrnambool, the Great Ocean Road and Ballarat.

A small number of private operators provide other services to Melbourne and Avalon airports.


Taxi services within the City of Greater Geelong are provided by Bellarine Peninsula Taxis and Geelong Taxi Network. The City of Greater Geelong is served by 146 taxis, 23 of which are wheelchair accessible and are available by booking. These numbers have been relatively static since 2003 with an increase of eight more taxis in 2014 – a modest six per cent increase.

By comparison over the same period, metropolitan Melbourne has had a 58 per cent rise in taxi numbers (to a total of 4,876), and the rest of Victoria has had an 11 per cent rise. All of the additional taxis in the City of Greater Geelong are wheelchair accessible.

Active transport

Walking links in the City of Greater Geelong are primarily provided by 1300 kilometres of roadside paths, both for pedestrians and shared use.

The City of Greater Geelong has some dedicated bicycle infrastructure, including bicycle lanes on key roads. The Bellarine Rail Trail offers a dedicated bicycle trail between Queenscliff and central Geelong, offering the most benefit to riders from the Drysdale, Leopold and Newcomb areas. However, the Bellarine Highway is a more direct route.


The City of Greater Geelong is home to Victoria’s second largest port, after the Port of Melbourne. The Geelong Port mainly exports raw materials including petroleum products, bulk grain and woodchips. In the 2011–12 financial year, the port managed 12.6 million tonnes in total trade, compared with 11.5 million tonnes in 2002–03.


Avalon Airport is located 15 kilometres north east of Geelong, and provides domestic passenger and freight links. Avalon airport began commercial operations in 2004, and sees passenger services linking to Brisbane and Sydney. Freight operations at the airport are limited, with a reported 40 freight movements per year10.

Aircraft movements at this airport are forecast to grow. By 2031, they are expected to account for eight to 14 per cent of Melbourne’s passenger market share, compared with its current market share of two per cent. Passenger numbers are expected to increase from 580,000 per year to between 4.6 and 8.1 million passengers per year11. Despite the forecast increase in aircraft movements, actual movements have been trending downwards since 2006, decreasing by 36 per cent. Over the same time period, total movements at Tullamarine Airport have increased by 23 per cent.

1 Australian Bureau of Statistics [Back to report section]
2 Source: Enterprise Geelong - Economic Indicators [Back to report section]
3 Source: Enterprise Geelong - Economic Indicators [Back to report section]
4 Source: Enterprise Geelong - Economic Profile - Tourism Output [Back to report section]
5 Source: Source OECD Obesity Update 2012 [Back to report section]
6 Source: Geelong Region PAS Literature Review [Back to report section]
7 Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics Census 2011 - Community Profiles [Back to report section]
8 Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics Census 2011 - QuickStats [Back to report section]
9 The Victorian rail network comprises of a combination of broad gauge rail (1600mm track spacing) and standard gauge rail (1435mm track spacing). The majority of the railways in Victoria are broad gauge, with standard gauge rail mainly used for freight and interstate lines. [Back to report section]
10 Source: Avalon Aiport Master Plan 2013 [Back to report section]

Source: Avalon Airport Rail Link Phase One Investigations Report

[Back to report section]

Page last updated: Tuesday, 10 December 2019