Council welcomes $5 million-plus for coastal trail
October 30, 2018
Colac Otway Shire Mayor Joe McCracken says a $5-million Federal Government commitment to fund a walking trail linking Apollo Bay and Skenes Creek will allow an important project for both the community and tourism to go ahead.
Cr McCracken said the City Deal commitment of $5 million for Wild Dog Creek-to-Skenes Creek section of the Great Ocean Walk came just days after Council reaffirmed its support for the coastal trail project and intention of continuing its advocacy.
“The project will link Apollo Bay and Skenes Creek for pedestrians and cyclists and we already have a feasibility study that shows that the trail could bring thousands more day-trippers and overnight visitors to the shire every year, and create jobs,”
“It’s great the government could see the huge benefits of building the pedestrian and cycling trail, which will now become an extension of the Great Ocean Walk,” he said.
“Council is also incredibly pleased that the government will also provide an additional $350,000 for the planning needed for stage two of the Great Ocean Walk which will link Skenes Creek with the Surf Coast Walk at Cumberland River.”
“Colac Otway Shire officers have worked with 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 complete the feasibility study for a trail linking Skenes Creek and Apollo Bay.
“There will now be more investigation 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 understands that the City Deal funding includes an initial payment of up to $100,000 to deliver the detailed cost and project plan for stage one of the Great Ocean Walk, with up to $5 million for capital works to actually build the trail.
“An additional $350,000 will go towards a feasibility study to stage two of the Great Ocean Walk, linking Skenes Creek to the Surf Coast Walk,” Cr McCracken said,
“The feasibility study will consider the potential economic and tourism benefits for coastal towns and the broader region.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Sarah Henderson MP with the "Action for Apollo Bay" team from Apollo Bay/Skenes Creek and Colac Otway Shire.
LtoR - Marcus Nolle, Graham Costin, Nick Polgeest, Scott Morrison PM, John Gorman, Sarah Henderson MP, Cr Joe McCracken, Tim Cobb, Caroline Wren, Peter Brown.