Greater Geelong Councillors have voted not to declare a special rate for
Central Geelong Marketing, saving CBD businesses an average of $771 per year.
instead voted in favour of an alternative recommendation, dissolving the
Central Geelong Marketing Committee and allocating $700,000 in the 2021-22
budget to deliver marketing and events for central Geelong during the next
The funding will also cover a review of the program, including engagement with
CBD businesses as well as the Central Geelong Business Reference Group, as part
of considerations for future program delivery models beyond the next financial
Council has requested the CEO deliver the review by March 2022.
Councillor Anthony Aitken, who put forward the alternative recommendation, said
the removal of the special rate would be a welcome reprieve for central Geelong
businesses, who had been significantly impacted by the pandemic.
decision is about showing our CBD business operators that we are listening, and
we are here to support them as our CBD goes through a period of transition and
recognises that central Geelong businesses are only just bouncing back after an
incredibly challenging 12 months.
found a way to deliver a comprehensive marketing program that will continue to
attract visitors to the CBD, whilst avoiding a further financial commitment
from the business operators.
At the same time, we have requested a review that will look for clever and
creative opportunities to market and promote central Geelong in the future.
We had the opportunity to make this change now in search of a better way
forward, and it was important that we seized it rather than waiting another
Feedback from the Central Geelong Business Reference Group
Findings Report, tabled in September last year, indicated support for the
services delivered by Central Geelong Marketing, but sought improvements to the
suggested that as the program provided broad benefits to the entire Greater
Geelong municipality, the costs should not be borne by Central Geelong businesses
and property owners only.
original report presented at last night’s meeting recommended that Council
declare the special rate, it acknowledged that ‘…on balance, there is
general support for the program … but not for the funding model (i.e. charging
a special rate)’.
As a result
of the funding change, the program of services previously provided through the
Central Geelong Marketing program will be altered.
provided by Council will contribute to consolidated, targeted,
Business2Business promotions, and events such as Tastes of Central Geelong, the
Christmas program and school holiday activities.
Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher acknowledged the work delivered by
Central Geelong Marketing over the past 20 years.
Geelong Marketing has provided support to central Geelong businesses over the
past two decades, but it is time we look for positive change in the model and
take a broader approach to supporting and growing our CBD.
As with all
Council services, it’s important we continue to adapt and evolve to meet the
changing needs of our community.
We look forward to continuing to
deliver meaningful promotion and marketing of central Geelong businesses and,
through the review, uncovering new and innovative ideas to achieve our aims for