Colac Otway identifies 30 funding priorities


Colac Otway Shire has listed 30 major project priorities requiring more than $10 million in funding, including $1.3 million for Lake Colac Foreshore Master Plan and $1.35 million for road upgrades and maintenance.

Mayor Joe McCracken said the list had been refined via community engagement and would provide a focus for lobbying for state and federal government funding.

“We have identified a diverse range or projects, many of which are shovel-ready, all of which are expected to generate considerable benefits for our community,” Cr McCracken said.

“The selected projects represent a program which will be delivered over a number of years to continue to strengthen our economy, improve the liveability of our region and enhance our communities.

“From the refurbishment of Winifred Nance Kindergarten ($400,000) to implementing the Forrest Mountain Bike Trail Strategy ($200,000), the Priority Projects framework should been seen as dynamic, responding to the changing needs and priorities within our diverse community to provide value to all.

“We’ve informed the selection of priorities through community engagement such as the new pre-budget consultation process and in developing the Council Plan 2017-2021.”

The list includes advocacy for implementation of the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan and Great Ocean Road Authority and increased commuter rail services.

Colac memorial square master plan implementation, in two phases, is put at $1.72 million, Apollo Bay Harbour precinct development plan, in two phases, at $450,000 and a joint G21 councils energy efficient lighting project for Colac at $257,000.

“Council’s tenacity in rallying politicians is paramount to getting extra funding or support for projects council ratepayers could simply not afford but deserve to have,” Cr McCracken said.

“The priority projects have been assessed and selected based on merit, cost, feasibility and necessity.

“Our job now is to go out there and actively promote and advocate for each of our community’s priorities as these projects are reliant on state and federal government support for their delivery.”

People can visit or contact the shire to register to receive a formal priority projects document.

Colac Otway Shire Council has approved a Colac memorial square redevelopment master plan, to include a new toilet block, new irrigation and increasing of play space.

Cr McCracken said community response had indicated strong support for maintaining and upgrading existing amenities in the square, and maintaining its war memorial as a focus.

He said the long-term square master plan would be implemented as funds became available.

Council has also resolved to increase its frequency of road inspections by 21 per cent, and has agreed to support running of the Amy’s Gran Fondo cycling event in the shire in 2018 but not for the following two years.

A survey of Colac Otway businesses and community after the 2017 Gran Fondo highlighted dissatisfaction with the impacts and benefits of the event.

Sources: Colac Otway Shire media releases.