23 February 2017

Priorities emerge from Great Ocean Road Summit

I would like to thank everyone who attended last night’s Great Ocean Road Summit in Lorne.

Almost 100 people attended the Lorne Bowls Club to hear from key stakeholders such as Liz Price from Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism, and to raise their concerns and ideas about investment priorities for our next $50m upgrade of the Great Ocean Road.

I am very proud that, together with the state, the Turnbull government is delivering $100m of funding to upgrade the Great Ocean Road, one of Australia’s most significant tourist attractions.

Attendees included Surf Coast Mayor Brian McKiterick, G21 CEO Elaine Carbines and representatives from Colac Otway Shire, the Great Ocean Road and Otway coastal committees, the Committee for Lorne and the Apollo Bay Chamber of Commerce.

A broad range of issues concerning road danger spots, road safety, driver behaviour, erosion and basic tourism infrastructure were raised including:

  • the need for better international driver education;
  • the poor state of the Great Ocean Road in some parts such as in and around Mt Defiance, between Lorne and Wye River;
  • the need for better infrastructure at Skenes Creek and Wild Dog Creek;
  • improved and more strategic signage and better vegetation clearance to enhance ocean views;
  • better car-parking, particularly for buses;
  • the importance of a proper bypass around Anglesea.
  • the dire need for toilet facilities right along the road, from Aireys Inlet to Apollo Bay and beyond with the lack of facilities at the Memorial Arch a particularly hot topic;
  • with so many state agencies involved in managing the Great Ocean Road, the need for an integrated Great Ocean Road Authority; and
  • an “app guide” in different languages which can support a better tourism experience.

Not all funding suggestions are eligible under the upgrade program but there may be scope, for instance, to provide funding under our $$20m Jobs and Investment Fund.

I will be compiling a report of all feedback which will published on my website and provided to both Vic Roads and the Federal Infrastructure Minister, Darren Chester.  It is imperative that the scope of works for the next $50m upgrade reflects the community’s concerns and priorities before it’s signed off by the Federal Government.

The Great Ocean Road now attracts 5.5 million visitors each year; and it’s critical we continue to drive the investment, planning and long term vision for this magnificent and iconic road.

23 February 2017