On 12 October 2018 the Victorian Government unveiled a landmark action plan to protect the iconic Great Ocean Road coast and parks for generations to come.
The Action Plan includes information on:
- coast and parks management authorities
- the overarching planning framework
- planning approvals processes.
The reform program comes at a critical time, providing certainty for a flagship tourism destination which is vital to Victoria’s visitor economy in the economic recovery from COVID-19.
To stay informed please read the quarterly community update:
Register your interest in receiving project updates and/or being notified of opportunities for you to have your say on governance arrangements for the Great Ocean Road.
Introducing the Great Ocean Road Action Plan
Great Ocean Road Action Plan video transcript (DOCX, 12.5 KB).
Landmark legislation to protect the Great Ocean Road and its environs
The first of two bills to enable the Great Ocean Road management reforms was passed by the Victorian Parliament on 16th June 2020. The bill establishes a stand-alone Act, the Great Ocean Road and Environs Protection Act 2020 that recognises the state significance of the Great Ocean Road and its landscapes, and establishes a new dedicated coast and parks management authority
The legislation also strengthens the involvement of Traditional Owners in the governance of the coast and parks, and provides a regional strategic framework plan to provide direction to 30 responsible entities and deliver a more coordinated and sustainable approach to land and visitor management.
Parks Management Authority commencing by 1 December 2020
A new regional parks management authority, the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority (GORCAPA), is being established to protect and manage coastal Crown land along the length of the Great Ocean Road. It will commence operations by 1 December 2020 with coastal Crown land parcels being progressively transferred to the Authority over a number of years.
On its commencement the staff, assets, liabilities and Crown land of the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee and Otway Coast Committee will be brought together in the Authority. There will be no job losses and accrued entitlements will be retained.
The planning and implementation of the transition is being delivered in conjunction with both the Coast Committees.
GORCAPA’s primary purpose is to protect and manage visitation of the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks. It will manage, protect, rehabilitate and foster resilience of the natural, cultural and heritage values of coastal Crown land and marine waters along the Great Ocean Road.
Responsibility for the ongoing operation and function, maintenance, renewal and upgrade of the road asset will remain with Regional Roads Victoria.
For more information please contact us at:
Address: Barwon South West Region, Department Environment, Land, Water and Planning, 30-38 Little Malop Street, Geelong, VIC, 3220.
More information about the plan can be found at Engage Victoria.
The 243-kilometre, National Heritage listed, Great Ocean Road is one of the world's most scenic and iconic coastal touring routes.
Its limestone cliffs, 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 History
The road connected isolated communities when it was constructed between 1919 and 1932 by returned servicemen to honour their fellow soldiers and sailors from World War one.
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 includes rare dinosaur fossil sites, the best-known being Dinosaur Cove.
Fossils collected from numerous sites along the coast continue to provide important scientific information.
Elements impacting the Great Ocean Road
Like many international tourist destinations, the Great Ocean Road is under threat from:
- increasing visitor numbers
- environmental forces
- impacts of climate change.
When combined, these elements have a negative impact on the beaches, cliffs, plants, animals and on both the day to day and long-term operation of the road.
If left unchecked, these threats could destroy this precious part of our state and impact on the liveability of local communities.
Governance of the Great Ocean Road
Today, the Great Ocean Road governance arrangements involve many different organisations across a range of jurisdictions.
There are 30 public entities with accountabilities including:
- strategy development and implementation:
- land-use planning
- management and administration
- infrastructure delivery
- asset maintenance
- emergency management
- investment facilitation
- destination promotion and brand stewardship.
This includes 11 different Crown land managers with responsibility for managing the coastal foreshore, public open spaces and parklands across the Great Ocean Road.
Great Ocean Road Taskforce
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. View the Co-chairs Final Report (PDF, 13.3 MB) or Co-chairs Final Report (accessible version) (DOCX, 3.4 MB).
The Great Ocean Road Taskforce - Terms of Reference (PDF, 283.6 KB) is available for further information.
- Independent co-chairs: Hon Peter Batchelor and Hon Terry Mulder.
Nominees of the Traditional Owners of Country:
- Wadawurrung: Ms Corrina Eccles (Manager Geelong Office) and Mr Paul Davis (General Manager)
- Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation: Mr Jamie Lowe (CEO) and
Mr Jason Mifsud (Chair).
Members with expertise and experience in tourism and coastal management, and understand the key issues relating to the governance of the Great Ocean Road:
- Mr Wayne Kayler-Thomson,
Chair of Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism
- Ms Diane James, AM,
former Chair of the Victorian Coastal Council for over a decade
- Ms Elaine Carbines, AM
Chief Executive Officer of G21 - The Geelong Region Alliance.
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 Victorian Government’s Great Ocean Road Action Plan outlines 18 actions (subject to funding) to implement the Great Ocean Road Taskforce Co-chair recommendations 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.
Great Ocean Road Action Plan:
- Great Ocean Road Action Plan (PDF, 10.8 MB)
- Great Ocean Road Action Plan (accessible version) (DOCX, 1.5 MB)
- Great Ocean Road Fact Sheet (PDF, 683.0 KB)
- Program Update June 2020 (PDF, 222.1 KB)
The community views process was from from March 2018 to December 2019 is outlined below.
Governance of the Great Ocean Road March to April 2018
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 (PDF, 4.7 MB) 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 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.
The issues paper was available for public comment for six weeks. The Taskforce consulted widely (with 21 briefings, listening posts and open house sessions), and the community provided overwhelming feedback in conversations with 780 people and through 570 submissions, that a new management model and greater environmental protection is needed.
- Community views one: Governance of the Great Ocean Road region report March to April 2018 (PDF, 4.1 MB)
Great Ocean Road Action Plan October 2018
Following the release of the Great Ocean Road Action Plan, a second phase of community engagement was undertaken with Great Ocean Road communities to outline the Great Ocean Road Action Plan and how their feedback (March-April 2018) had shaped it.
The preferences of local communities were sought on the design of future community involvement in the development of the Great Ocean Road strategic framework plan. The vast majority of people requested face-to-face and online forums, better promotion of community sessions and plenty of advance notice.
Community aspirations for the region May to August 2019
The aspirations of the community for the future of the Great Ocean Road region were sought as the first step in developing a vision and long-term objectives (Action #8 in the Great Ocean Road Action Plan). The vision and objectives are to be given effect through the development of the Strategic Framework Plan.
Feedback was collected from 428 people through intercept surveys, open house sessions, online surveys, and online mapping tools. Participants desire a future with:
- stronger protection of the natural environment, beaches, distinctive characteristics of coastal towns and surrounding landscapes
- greater recognition and celebration of the local Aboriginal history and culture with greater involvement of the Traditional Owners in the storytelling process
- vibrant coastal townships along the Great Ocean Road distinguished by their own unique character and modest, thoughtful development.
- environmentally sustainable visitation with a focus on sustainable transport and energy, and building climate resilient communities.
The next step is for DELWP to work with the Traditional Owner groups and responsible entities to understand their values and objectives. A consultation draft Vision and (long-term) Objectives for the Great Ocean Road Region will be released in 2021.
Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority community involvement and funding options November to December 2019
The Action Plan includes a number of actions to establish an independent statutory authority to manage coastal Crown land in the Great Ocean Road region. To support the implementation of these actions, the community was asked how they would like to be involved with the new Authority in the future, and sought their views on possible funding options to support the Authority’s operations. Consultation summarised is from the community, stakeholders were not targeted for this round of consultation.
- Community views four: Great Ocean Road Authority community involvement and funding options (PDF, 169.9 KB)
Community views: responses and submissions
Please view the submissions and surveys of interest to you, submissions have been listed in alphabetical order by the name of the organisation.
All supporting documents can be found here.
- Terms of Reference (PDF, 283.6 KB)
- Governance of the Great Ocean Road Issues Paper (PDF, 4.7 MB)
- Co-chairs Final Report (PDF, 13.3 MB)
- Co-chairs Final Report (accessible version) (DOCX, 3.4 MB)
- Great Ocean Road Action Plan (PDF, 10.8 MB)
- Great Ocean Road Action Plan (accessible version) (DOCX, 1.5 MB)
- Progress report June 2020 (PDF, 222.1 KB)
- Community Views one - March to April 2018: Governance of the Great Ocean Road Region (PDF, 2.8 MB)
- Community Views two - October 2018 Great Ocean Road Action Plan (PDF, 978.9 KB)
- Community Views three - May to August 2019: Aspirations report (PDF, 4.9 MB)
- Community Views four - November 2019: Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority Community involvement and funding options (PDF, 169.9 KB)
- Community update one - October 2018 (PDF, 324.6 KB)
- Community update two - April 2019 (PDF, 143.1 KB)
- Community update three - September 2019 (PDF, 321.7 KB)
- Community update four - December 2019 (PDF, 389.3 KB)
- Community update five - April 2020 (PDF, 351.3 KB)
- Great Ocean Road Visitor and accommodation forecast, September 2018 (PDF, 8.9 MB)
- Great Ocean Road Governance case studies paper 2018 (PDF, 2.8 MB)
The implementation of the Great Ocean Road Action Plan will build on prior work undertaken in the:
- Great Ocean Road Region Strategy 2004
- Shipwreck Coast Master Plan 2015
- Strategic Master Plan for the Great Ocean Road Region Visitor Economy 2015-2025
It is also to draw on the experience of cooperative efforts during the Wye River Bushfire Reconstruction process.
Page last updated: 16/07/20