Protecting And Growing The Great Ocean Road

An expert taskforce charged with the job of protecting and growing Victoria’s iconic Great Ocean Road has released an issues paper for public feedback.

The Governance of the Great Ocean Road Region identifies proposals for better coordination between the key agencies responsible for the road and the tourist destination, so that they are working in tandem with the one common goal – protecting and growing the Great Ocean Road.

Last year, the Andrews Labor Government invested $1.3 million to establish the Great Ocean Road Taskforce, and appointed former Victorian Ministers for Public Transport Peter Batchelor and Terry Mulder as its co-chairs.

It also features G21 chief executive Elaine Carbines, former chair of Victorian Coastal Council Diane James AM, Great Ocean Road Tourism chair Wayne Kayler-Thomson and the chief executives from five local councils. The Taskforce has worked closely with nearly 40 relevant organisations and local groups.

The issues paper notes that although more than 14 public agencies have responsibilities in the region, they’re often disconnected from one another – and don’t have clearly defined partnerships with Traditional Owners.

Other proposals in the issues paper include the establishment of a lead agency, action to secure funding sources for the plan, and a 20 to 25-year strategy covering the entire length of the Great Ocean Road, to ensure the iconic tourist destination reaches its full potential.

The Great Ocean Road region attracts twice as many visitors as the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru combined – generating $1.3 billion in visitor expenditure and creating around 9,200 jobs.

The Government will consider the Taskforce’s recommendations after the community has had its say. Submissions can be lodged before the end of April. The discussion paper can be viewed at engage.vic.gov.au/great-ocean-road

Quotes attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne

“A century on, Victorians still love the Great Ocean Road. We need to act to ensure we don’t love it to death.”

“The Great Ocean Road is the jewel in Victoria’s crown, but we have to get the planning right to protect it for generations to come. We’re having a good look at the most appropriate management model.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren

“The Great Ocean Road is our state’s biggest tourism drawcard – twice as popular as the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru combined. That’s why we’re doing the work to ensure it only gets stronger going forward.”

Quote attributable to Great Ocean Road Taskforce Co-Chair Peter Batchelor

“Understanding that the millions of visitors who come to this region will continue to grow in number, we must welcome them and provide a memorable and much-loved experience.”

Quote attributable to Great Ocean Road Taskforce Co-Chair Terry Mulder

“We need to get the balance right between accessibility and sustainability, amenity and liveability, and the economy and the community. To strike this balance, we need to acknowledge the Great Ocean Road belongs to all Victorians.”

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