A Taskforce has been asked to investigate the governance arrangements for the Great Ocean Road and to recommend reforms that will boost the visitation economy and visitor expenditure in local communities whilst continuing to protect its natural landscapes.
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 one 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 more than 17 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.
Terms of Reference
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. The Taskforce is to report to Government by the end of 2018.
On 14 September 2017, the Victorian Government announced the appointment of the Great Ocean Road Taskforce:
- Independent co-chairs: Hon Peter Batchelor and Hon Terry Mulder
- Nominees of the Traditional Owners of Country (Eastern Maar, Wadawurrung)
- Ms Elaine Carbines Chief Executive, G21 Geelong Region Alliance
- Ms Diane James Former Chair, Victorian Coastal Council
- Mr Wayne Kayler Thomson Chair, Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism
- Mr Keith Baillie – Chief Executive Officer, Surf Coast Shire
- Mr Andrew Mason – Chief Executive Officer, Corangamite Shire
- Mr Robert Dobrzynski – Acting Chief Executive Officer, Colac Otway Shire
- Mr David Madden – Chief Executive Officer, Moyne Shire Council
- Mr Bruce Anson – Chief Executive Officer, Warrnambool City Council
The Taskforce will look at the Great Ocean Road area from Torquay to Port Fairy and the hinterland. This includes parts of the municipalities of Surf Coast, Colac Otway, Corangamite, Moyne and Warrnambool.
Links to other work
The work of the Taskforce 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.
Register your interest
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 by completing the form below.