Reverse Engineering Approach Aims to Achieve Apollo Bay Harbour Vision
November 26, 2015
Colac Otway Shire Council will embark on an innovative approach to realise the community's vision for the Apollo Bay Harbour's redevelopment.
Rather than creating a development plan for the harbour with no clarity of whether government and private enterprise will be willing to invest in the redevelopment, Council will invite the private sector to submit their response via an expression of interest process.
To achieve this, in coming months a project control group will be established comprising Councillors, Council officers, the State Government and Apollo Bay community members. This group will be charged with creating a prospectus for the marketplace based on the current planning controls for the site, which have been agreed to as part of the planning scheme amendment C73 process.
This will replace the former community reference group, which was set up as a consultation group around previous master plan and planning scheme amendment processes.
Mayor Frank Buchanan said that "for the first time in a long time", the Apollo Bay community had broad agreement on what the harbour development should involve, and the planning controls to achieve it.
"The community has said it wants a special use zone on the harbour, a publicly accessible aquatic and wellbeing centre, and no accommodation or hotels," he said.
"The project control group's responsibility will be to translate that vision into an expression of interest prospectus that we will use to sound out the relevant government departments and the private sector.
"What we'll learn from this process is whether the government and the private sector are prepared to invest in this vision, and on what terms."
Subject to what comes back from the government and marketplace, it will be up to Council and Apollo Bay community to decide if there is a desire to proceed with the proposals that have come forward.
Cr Buchanan said the Apollo Bay Harbour had several major interest groups, all of which sought slightly different outcomes.
"In order for the State Government to invest in the harbour, we need to be able to demonstrate that their funding will result in strong economic returns to Apollo Bay via tourism," he said.
"The community is clear that it wants a pool, health and wellbeing centre and other public infrastructure delivered in a way that has minimal visual impact on the harbour precinct.
"The private sector will want commercial returns and security of tenure for any investment they make.
"We're hopeful that through this expression of interest process, we can find a proposal that matches the interests of the major stakeholders and the community so that we can help the Apollo Bay Harbour reach its full potential."