Today in Federal Parliament I announced a Great Ocean Road Summit for Apollo Bay.
This follows on from last week’s successful Great Ocean Road Summit in Lorne which was attended by almost 100 local residents, traders and tourist operators.
The Apollo Bay summit will be held at the Apollo Bay Bowls Club on Friday 17 March at 6.00pm.
This will provide residents from Apollo Bay, Skenes Creek, Marengo, Lavers Hill, Horden Vale, Cape Otway and surrounding areas with the opportunity to raise their concerns and ideas about investment priorities for our next $50m upgrade of the Great Ocean Road.
I will be compiling a report of all feedback which will be published on my website and provided to both VicRoads and the Federal Infrastructure Minister, Darren Chester.
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.
See my speech here. The transcript is below.
I rise to thank everyone who attended last week’s Great Ocean Road Summit in Lorne. Almost 100 people attended the Lorne Bowls Club to hear from key stakeholders such as Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism, like the Committee for Lorne, the local shires and the Apollo Bay Chamber of Commerce. I am incredibly proud that our government has led the way in delivering $100 million in partnership with the state to upgrade the iconic Great Ocean Road.
I was out in the community, hearing from local stakeholders, from tourism operators, from traders and from local residents about how we should spend this money. We had some fantastic feedback very much focused on road danger spots, road safety, driver behaviour, erosion and improving basic tourism infrastructure.
The need for better international driver education is an issue that I have raised with Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan on many occasions, and I am yet to receive a satisfactory response. It is becoming an increasingly important issue.
There is the poor state of the Great Ocean Road in some parts such as in and around Mount Defiance, between Lorne and Wye River, the need for better infrastructure at Skenes Creek and Wild Dog Creek, a need for improved and more strategic signage and better vegetation clearance to enhance ocean views.
Better car parking, particularly for buses, is needed. A proper bypass around Anglesea is important. There is a need for toilet facilities. The lack of proper toilet facilities along the Great Ocean Road is a massive issue for our regional tourism industry.
Places like Kennett River, Wye River, Lorne and right through to Apollo Bay are suffering from a lack of investment, and that really resonated very positively. It was also a great suggestion to produce an app guide to assist people in different languages with navigating our wonderful tourism icon.
The summit was so successful that I am very pleased to announce we are holding another summit in Apollo Bay at the bowls club on Friday, 17 March at six o’clock. This is a great opportunity for the people of Apollo Bay, Marengo and Lavers Hill to come along and express their views about the importance of this wonderful road.
This is part of a $1.5 billion infrastructure investment package that the Turnbull government is delivering into Victoria. We are incredibly proud of what we are doing to invest in better roads and better rail, including, of course, the iconic Great Ocean Road.
I say to everyone in Apollo Bay and all around that part of the Great Ocean Road: please come along Friday, 17 March at the Apollo Bay Bowls Club. Share your views because your voice matters.
2 March 2017