25 September 2017

Colac Otway Shire receives $100,000 for key economic studies

I am delighted to announce that two projects across Colac Otway have been successful under the community investment stream of the Turnbull Government’s Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF).

The Colac Otway Shire has received $75,000 for a $150,000 Tourism Parking and Traffic Strategy along the Great Ocean Road. The Colac Otway Shire will invest $75,000 towards the project. 

The Colac Otway Shire has also received $25,000 for a $50,000 Colac Otway Economic Development Strategy. The Colac Otway Shire will invest $25,000 towards this project. 

The Tourism Parking and Traffic Strategy will consider all key tourist townships along the Great Ocean Road and hinterland. The project will include significant stakeholder engagement and a communications plan with traffic counts and studies. The Strategy will ultimately recommend a five year capital works plan for our region.  This investment in the Great Ocean Road is in addition to the $100m we are delivering in partnership with the state. 

I have long advocated for better car parking along the Great Ocean Road, including for buses. The lack of proper toilet facilities along this iconic road is also a major issue for our regional tourism industry. These issues were highlighted in the two Great Ocean Road summits I held in Lorne and Apollo Bay earlier this year.

Kennett River and Apollo Bay face some particularly difficult parking issues due to the high number of tourist buses.  

The Colac Otway Economic Development Strategy will deliver a stakeholder engagement and communications plan, to plan for and facilitate economic growth and prosperity across the entire Colac Otway region.

The Great Ocean Road 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.

Other projects to receive funding across our region include $19,500 for the Geelong Chamber of Commerce towards the establishment of the Barwon South West Regional Business Council and a Regional Business Summit.

The business groups invited to be incorporated in the Regional Business Council are the Apollo Bay Chamber of Commerce, Bannockburn Chamber of Commerce, Business and Tourism Anglesea, Colac & District Chamber of Commerce, Commerce Warrnambool, Committee for Lorne, Highton Traders’ Association, Lara Chamber of Commerce, Ocean Grove Business Association, Portarlington Business Development Association, RIP Chamber (Queenscliff) and the Torquay Commerce and Tourism.

The Regional Business Summit will feature keynote speakers and a discussion panel on topics such as business leadership and how to actively engage local businesses to participate and join local business groups.

Upstart Entrepreneurial Challenge has received $17,950 to conduct two community innovation workshops.  These workshops will assist the community to build a prosperous future by supporting and empowering business, social and community entrepreneurs through community-driven innovation and entrepreneurial strategies. Upstart Entrepreneurial Challenge is a Skilling the Bay delivery partner.

Through the BBRF, the Turnbull Government is providing almost $500m over four years from 2016-17 to help fund priority infrastructure projects which foster economic growth in rural, regional and remote communities.  More information about the BBRF can be found at https://www.business.gov.au/

25 September 2017