12 January 2019

Labor must urgently establish Great Ocean Road Authority

The State Labor government must urgently establish the Great Ocean Road Authority.

The terrible coastal erosion at Apollo Bay and Marengo is an example of Labor’s mismanagement of our coastline.

There have been a myriad of environmental reports over many years which have identified that urgent action is required and yet Labor has delivered only a band aid solution.

Replenishing sand is simply not good enough.

The Victorian Government must invest significantly in permanent infrastructure to address the erosion such as seawalls and groyne.

I am incredibly proud that the Morrison Government has delivered a $154 million City Deal including $12 million for the Apollo Bay Harbour upgrade and $5 million for the Skenes Creek to Wild Dog Creek coastal walk.

The Skenes Creek coastal walk is incredibly important infrastructure for the local community and tourism economy.

This is a coastal path to somewhere very special and the Victorian Government must urgently rebuild the section of path which was lost in the June 2018 storms.

I am also concerned that State Labor has still not detailed how its City Deal money will be spent, despite promising it would do so immediately after the state election.

Over a number of years, the State Labor government has not taken coastal erosion, for which it is responsible, seriously.

With so many state agencies currently responsible for the Great Ocean Road and the coastline, the Great Ocean Road Authority is desperately required so that a proper management plan, including to combat rising sea levels, can be implemented.

The Authority is also urgently required to manage the Point Grey redevelopment in Lorne for which our government is delivering $8 million under our City Deal. The coastal committee has a history of not listening to the community and that must be fixed.

The Great Ocean Road is an iconic tourist destination and critical infrastructure for our region.

In contrast to the previous Federal Labor government which refused to invest any money in the road, I am incredibly proud to have secured $50 million for the Great Ocean Road.

11 January 2019