The National Heritage listed Great Ocean Road is one of the world’s iconic ocean drives with diverse land and seascapes that have outstanding natural, cultural and heritage values. It is an international attraction and each year receives more visitors than Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef combined.

Like many international tourist destinations, the Great Ocean Road is challenged by increasing visitor numbers, forces of nature and the impacts of climate change. Combined, these elements are having a very real impact on the beaches, cliffs, plants and animals – and in places both the day-to-day and long-term operation of the Road are also at risk. Left unchecked, these threats could destroy this precious part of our state – and impact on the liveability of local communities.

The Victorian Government established an independently chaired Great Ocean Road Taskforce to review the effectiveness of current governance arrangements and to make recommendations to strengthen protection of the landscape setting, improve the visitor experience, provide greater certainty in land-use planning and attract investment proposals that will benefit tourists and local communities.

The Co-chairs submitted their final report with 26 recommendations to the Victorian Government in August 2018.

Action Plan

The Great Ocean Road Action Plan follows the Co-chair recommendations reforms to the management arrangements delivered to simplify the complex management arrangements and protect the iconic road, coast, parks and scenic landscapes. The major reforms include:

  • stand-alone legislation that recognises and protects the iconic landscapes along the Great Ocean Road as the ‘one integrated and living entity’ and makes the management of the region publicly accountable
  • a dedicated (statutory) coast and parks management agency with an independent, skills-based board, to manage – and be publicly accountable for – protection of the environment, sustainable visitation and delivery of government investments
  • a new overarching planning framework enshrined in legislation that has a long term and holistic outlook for the length of the Great Ocean Road to provide direction to localised and/or functional planning
  • ensuring the framework plan is regularly reviewed and adequately funded
  • a better planning approvals process.

Documents to Download:

Get involved

We are interested in knowing how the best forums and formats for your involvement in the development of the strategic framework plan (Actions 8 and 9 in the Great Ocean Road Action Plan).

Complete the quick poll online at www.engage.vic.gov.au or drop into one of the community information forums listed above.

The 243-kilometre, National Heritage listed, Great Ocean Road is one of the world's most scenic and iconic coastal touring routes. Its sheer limestone cliffs, pockets of rainforest, shipwreck history, and world class-surfing breaks make the Great Ocean Road one of Australia’s most popular destinations for visitors and Victoria's most significant tourism asset.

The Great Ocean Road connected isolated coastal communities when it was constructed between 1919 and 1932. It was built by returned servicemen to honour their fellow soldiers and sailors from World War I. The coastal and forested landscapes along the road are of high cultural, ecological and economic importance to the Wadawurrung and Eastern Maar people who have known this country, and cared for it, since the beginning. The coastline also includes rare polar dinosaur fossil sites, the best-known being Dinosaur Cove. Fossils collected from numerous sites along the coast continue to yield important scientific information.

Today the Great Ocean Road governance arrangements involve many different organisations that operate across a range of geographical scales, timeframes and jurisdictional boundaries. There are 30 responsible public entities with accountabilities from strategy development and implementation: land-use planning, management and administration, infrastructure delivery, asset maintenance, emergency management, investment facilitation, destination promotion and brand stewardship. Responsibility for managing contiguous coastal foreshore, public open spaces and parklands along the Great Ocean Road is also fragmented with 11 different Crown land managers.

The Victorian Government established the independently chaired Great Ocean Road Taskforce to review the effectiveness of current governance arrangements and to make recommendations to strengthen protection of the landscape setting, improve the visitor experience, provide greater certainty in land-use planning and attract investment proposals that will benefit tourists and local communities.

On 14 September 2017, the Victorian Government established the Great Ocean Road Taskforce. The Taskforce is independently co-chaired by the Hon Peter Batchelor and the Hon Terry Mulder. Its membership includes representatives of the Traditional Owners, tourism and coastal management and local government.

The Taskforce conducted the first independent assessment of the management and oversight of the entirety of the Great Ocean Road region.

The Co-chairs submitted their final report with 26 recommendations to the Victorian Government in August 2018.


Membership

  • Independent co-chairs: Hon Peter Batchelor and Hon Terry Mulder
  • Nominees of the Traditional Owners of Country
  • Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation: Mr Jamie Lowe (CEO) and Mr Jason Mifsud (Chair)
  • Wadawurrung: Ms Corrina Eccles (Manager Geelong Office) and Mr Paul Davis (General Manager)
  • Members with expertise and experience in tourism and coastal management, and understand the key issues relating to the governance of the Great Ocean Road:
  • Ms Diane James, AM, former Chair of the Victorian Coastal Council for over a decade
  • Ms Elaine Carbines, Chief Executive Officer of G21 - The Geelong Region Alliance
  • Mr Wayne Kayler-Thomson, Chair of Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism
  • The CEOs of the five Local Government Authorities along the Great Ocean Road:
    • Surf Coast Shire
    • Colac Otway Shire
    • Corangamite Shire
    • Warrnambool City Council
    • Moyne Shire

The work of the Taskforce will build on prior work undertaken in the:

It is also to draw on the experience of cooperative efforts during the Wye River Bushfire Reconstruction process.

Community Views

The Co-Chairs adopted an issue and opportunities-led approach to examining the current governance arrangements for the Great Ocean Road and its landscapes – including the policies, legislation and regulation, institutional arrangements, funding, infrastructure and project delivery.

An initial issues paper, Governance of the Great Ocean Road Region Issues (the Issues Paper), was developed by the Taskforce in consultation with a project reference group and key stakeholders.

The Governance of the Great Ocean Road Region Issues Paper (PDF, 6.4 MB) was publicly released on 21 March 2018 to promote discussion and seek feedback on opportunities to improve the oversight and management of the Great Ocean Road and its landscapes.

Community Views Report

Given the large study area, and the number and diversity of users, local communities and visitors interested in the Great Ocean Road, the community consultation process was designed to capture a wide range of perspectives, and to provide a wide range of opportunities and formats for participating.

People were invited to have their say in person, via a written submission, or online via a survey, online mapping tool or submission form.

Submissions closed at the end of April after face-to face conversions with more than 780 people at a variety of locations (Melbourne, Torquay, Anglesea, Lorne, Wye River, Apollo Bay, the Twelve Apostles, Port Campbell, Warrnambool and Port Fairy) and more than 570 written responses.

A Community Views Report has been prepared to provide an overview of community and stakeholder views that were gathered through the engagement activities and will be made available shortly.

View the survey responses and submissions to the Governance of the Great Ocean Road Issues Paper

Subscribe to updates

Register your interest in receiving project updates and/or being notified of opportunities for you to have your say on the governance arrangements for the Great Ocean Road via greatoceanroad.actionplan@delwp.vic.gov.au

Contact Us

Great Ocean Road Action Plan Delivery Team
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
Barwon South West Level 4, State Government Offices
30-38 Lt Malop Street Geelong, Victoria, 3220

Page last updated: 15/10/2018