02 February 2017

Great Ocean Road Summit

I am inviting all Great Ocean road residents, business owners, tourism groups and other associated stakeholders to a Great Ocean Road Summit in Lorne next month.

The Great Ocean Road is one of the nation’s most significant tourist icons and the centrepiece of our $2 billion regional tourism economy, supporting an estimated 10,000 jobs. Sadly, it is lacking in basic tourist infrastructure such as extra car parking, picnic tables, toilets, pedestrian crossings and signage.

With the Turnbull government announcing another $25m for the Great Ocean Road – $50m in total since 2013 – the summit is an important opportunity to provide feedback into the next $50m upgrade program before it’s signed off by the Federal Government.

I have already proposed that some of this $50m program be used to fund basic tourism infrastructure along the Great Ocean Road.

Another very major issue is the lack of toilet facilities.  At places like the Great Ocean Road arch at Eastern View and at Castle Cove Southeast of Lavers Hill, there are no toilet facilities at all.  Through no fault of their own, tourists are being forced to go to the toilet in the bushes which is frankly disgusting.

There is no adequate public toilet block at Kennett River and public facilities at places like Wye River and Apollo Bay are very poorly maintained.  When I raised the importance of toilet facilities at a recent Wye River community meeting, this was received very positively including from Colac Otway Shire and Otway Coast.

In partnership with the previous Liberal state government, the Federal Coalition in 2013 committed $50m to upgrade the Great Ocean Road. The $50m (Program 1) Great Ocean Road upgrade has been a great success and has so far delivered:

  • Separation Creek: $3.75m for Separation Creek Bridge rebuild and new pedestrian walkway;
  • Boggaley Creek Bridge: $1.5m for bridge works north of Separation Creek;
  • Anglesea: $2.04m for road rehabilitation works between the Anglesea River bridge and intersection at Tonge Street;
  • Lorne: $1.3m for works between Stony Creek & roundabout at Deans Marsh Rd; and
  • Lavers Hill – $1.3m for road resurfacing works.

Resurfacing has been completed at 29 locations including Wye River and Apollo Bay, with a further 15 sites scheduled for completion by mid-2018. Road reconstruction works have been completed at 10 sites with a further 11 sites scheduled for completion by mid-2018.

In 2016, the Turnbull Government announced a further $25m for the Great Ocean Road.

This summit is a very important opportunity for the Corangamite community to have its say on future investment priorities for the Great Ocean Road.

The Great Ocean Road summit will be held at the Lorne Bowls club from 6.30pm on Wednesday February 22. RSVP by emailing my office at kerry.ridgeway@aph.gov.au or telephoning 5243 1444.  For those who can’t attend but wish to provide feedback, please email me at sarah.henderson.mp@aph.gov.au.

31 January 2017

Picture; with Wayne Kayler-Thomson, Chairman of Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism Ltd at the Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch.