Council awards contract for Apollo Bay Harbour market testing
Febrary 23, 2017
Colac Otway Shire Council has awarded the contract for market testing of the Apollo Bay Harbour precinct to Essential Economics Pty Ltd.
Essential Economics will commence work immediately with a project deadline of 30 June 2017 and will engage with the Apollo Bay Harbour Project Control Group (PCG) established by Council to oversee the future expression of interest process and this market testing process. The PCG includes six Apollo Bay community representatives and relevant government agencies.
Colac Otway Shire Mayor, Cr Chris Potter, was pleased that the Apollo Bay Harbour precinct market testing was imminent and is looking forward to the PCG’s input to the process, particularly the community representatives’.
“The residents of Apollo Bay are entitled to some certainty about their harbour’s future and the awarding of this contract brings them one step closer – as did the creation of the Project Control Group in April 2016,” he said.
“The market testing exercise will also give the private sector an opportunity to outline what might be achievable in the precinct within the current planning scheme controls.”
A report to Council’s August 2016 meeting explained that market testing was an essential first step because it would help determine whether the current planning controls support the viable delivery of the community’s vision for the future of the precinct.
The Apollo Bay community outlined its vision for the redevelopment of the harbour precinct through a Special Use Zone introduced to the site via planning scheme amendment C73 in March 2015.
The community has indicated it wants a publicly accessible aquatic and wellbeing centre, and public infrastructure such as boardwalks, improvements to car parks, public toilets and interpretive signs, and no accommodation or hotels.
Colac Otway Shire Council believes market testing is vital to test if there is sufficient market interest in delivering these components. Private sector interest in the market testing phase would be important before Council can progress to the preparation of a business case for the Minister’s approval to undertake and expression of interest.
The PCG will consider the findings of the market testing and help guide the next steps in the process.