The Geelong suburbs of Corio and Norlane have many advantages. Situated within easy reach of the central business district, Corio Bay, Geelong Port and other industry, Avalon Airport and the Werribee to Avalon employment corridor, the northern suburbs have accessible and affordable housing with good road and rail linkages to Melbourne.
The northern suburbs of Geelong was built on strong ‘industry’ however since the early 1980’s we have seen the decline of the manufacturing sector; International Harvester in 1982, the Federal Woollen Mills in 2001 and Ford Motor Company in 2010. This has resulted in more than 5,500 jobs being lost creating generational disadvantage in the northern suburbs of Norlane and Corio.
Many in our community now face critical social and economic challenges including high unemployment, poor education outcomes, low household incomes and an increased likelihood of living in public and rental housing.
The (1)SEIFA Index of Disadvantage found that Norlane is the third most disadvantaged area in the state. It is clear, this disadvantage flows from the high, long term unemployment. Norlane is below the Victorian average on the follow key critical indicators(2):
- A higher than average unemployment rate. (Victorian average 5.2%, in pockets of Norlane this is as high as 25.3%).
- A higher than average youth unemployment rate. (Victorian average 12.3%, in pockets of Norlane this is as high as 75%).
- There is a very high rate of disengaged youth. (Victorian average 8.2%, in pockets of Corio this is as high as 53.6%).
- There is a high rate of low income households. (Victorian average 18.3%, in pockets of Norlane this is as high as 52.1%).
- There is a very high proportion of housing stress. (Victorian average 11.4%, in pockets of Corio this is as high as 25.7%).
Around 60% of people living in the northern suburbs are at risk of becoming or remaining out of work in the long term.
(1) SEIFA is derived from the Census and can indicate the relative level of social and economic wellbeing of a region. The index is constructed based on a series of variables that include income, education, employment, occupation and housing.
(2) ABS Census 2016.