Mayor welcomes State Government investment in Colac Otway
November 24, 2020
Colac Otway Shire Mayor Cr Kate Hanson has welcomed State Government 2020-21 Budget funding commitments to address erosion at Apollo Bay, protect the Great Ocean Road and key inland industry routes, and boost tourism on the coast.
The State Government has announcement $272.4 million in its 2020-21 Budget to upgrade the Great Ocean Road and its inland routes, as well as key roads which support the dairy industry in the South West Region.
The government has also allocated $44.1 million to extend the Great Ocean Road Coastal Trail from Fairhaven to Grey River and provide improved visitor facilities including toilets, swing bridges, viewing platforms, beach access, car parking, free public Wifi locations and waste collection sensors.
Funding to build rock groynes at Apollo Bay to protect the dune, walking path, cypress trees and Great Ocean Road is also included in the 2020-21 State Budget.
“Colac Otway Shire Council has been calling for significant investment to manage erosion, maintain the Great Ocean Road and improve tourism infrastructure such as toilets, for some time,” Cr Hanson said.
“The State Government’s Budget commitments will be important for protecting our communities along the road, this iconic asset and our future.
“Every storm, every high tide has caused increasing concern, with an urgent need to address erosion, particularly at Apollo Bay and Marengo.
“There has also never been a more important time for the State Government to invest in vital infrastructure upgrades, our coastal communities and our local tourism industry.
“Our tourism industry has been hard hit by the COVID19 pandemic and the funding to expand and improve visitor infrastructure shows the State Government’s recognition of the value of the Colac Otway region as a major attraction with huge potential.
“Tourism and hospitality operators need that confidence boost as their businesses move into post-COVID recovery and they look to the future.
“The State Government’s commitment to maintaining and upgrading the Great Ocean Road, the inland tourist route and key dairy supply roads across our region is another long-awaited, essential investment for our community and its major industries.
“Colac Otway Shire will continue its advocacy work and looks forward to working with the community, State Government departments and agencies such as the new Great Ocean Road Coast & Parks Authority, as more detail of how and where the funding will be allocated is provided,” Cr Hanson said.
“Council has funded temporary toilets in Apollo Bay in Pascoe Street to support the growing tourism industry however a permanent solution to meet the demand for improved and expanded toilet facilities now and in the future is essential.
“We have key inland tourist and dairy industry routes across the region which need upgrading and will benefit the community, industry growth and visitors,” she said.
“And all of these infrastructure improvements will also mean significant employment in the construction phase which will also support our communities’ recovery.”