Council reaffirms coastal discovery trail as priority project
October 25, 2018
Colac Otway Shire Council will use a recently completed feasibility study to continue pushing for funding to develop a proposed Apollo Bay-Skenes Creek Coastal Discovery Trail.
Shire Mayor Joe McCracken has commended the multiple agencies and community groups that have worked tirelessly together to attract funding for the proposed project’s feasibility study, which could attract more than 5000 extra overnight visitors to the area annually.
“There has been an enormous amount of work gone into taking the coastal trail from a great idea to where it is today, with a completed feasibility study which can now be used to advocate for the necessary funding to actually develop the trail,” Cr McCracken said.
“Colac Otway Shire officers have worked alongside the Skenes Creek Advancement Group, Apollo Bay Chamber of Commerce, Otway Forum, Apollo Bay P-12 College, Guli-Gadd Aboriginal Corporation, Eastern Marr Group, Otway Coast Committee, DELWP, Parks Victoria, Regional Development Victoria, Sport and Recreation Victoria and community members to reach this point.
“Council’s Small Township Improvement Program provided a $25,000 grant to the Apollo Bay Chamber of Commerce and OCC was successful in gaining $40,000 in State Government funding, which enabled the trail’s feasibility study to go ahead.
“Council has reaffirmed its commitment to the trail as a priority project for our shire, with the study identifying the trail would provide a range of benefits to the region.
“The study has found the trail would bring thousands more day-trippers and overnight visitors annually, of all ages and abilities, while creating about 23 jobs during its construction and a further 12 new ongoing jobs.
“A community survey showed 95 per cent of respondents supported the trail, with the study indicating more local residents would use the trail at least once a week.”
Cr McCracken said Council was proud to support the trail, which the study has found was feasible with an estimated cost of about $5 million.
“More investigation is needed now to look at which agencies will be responsible for the proposed project and ongoing maintenance of the trail once it’s developed, particularly after the State Government’s announcement that it would establish a Great Ocean Road Authority,” he said.
“Council will also continue its advocacy role to attract funding and support the development of the trail which the community strongly supports,” he said.
“Council will also take it to G21 and ask that it be considered a priority project for the region.”