G21 welcomes Great Ocean Road Authority
Years of advocacy by G21 has resulted in the state government delivering once-in-a-generation reforms to better protect and manage the Great Ocean Road and its iconic coasts and parks.
The Great Ocean Road and Environs Protection Bill 2019 passed the Victorian Parliament on 4 June, clearing the way to establish the Great Ocean Road Coast & Parks Authority (GORCAPA) by 1 December this year.
G21 CEO and member of the state government’s Great Ocean Road Taskforce, Elaine Carbines welcomed the news saying it will support local jobs, drive investment and improve the experience of visitors.
“Most importantly the Authority will deliver a more coordinated and sustainable approach to public land management,” Ms Carbines said.
“G21 has for years been advocating to Spring Street about better management and funding of the Great Ocean Road. G21 has included the Great Ocean Road as one of its priority advocacy projects.
“Our campaign in 2013 was the catalyst to tens of millions of dollars of new state and federal funding for badly needed road maintenance, the benefits of which are being seen now in ongoing road works and safety upgrades.
“However, management of the road was always more complex than it needed to be with 11 different bodies having responsibility in some form or other for the road and the crown land surrounding it.
“G21 watched this result in slow, fragmentated and inconsistent planning and actively campaigned for one overarching management body. The new Authority will bring that much needed coordination.
“The Authority will streamline management and allow the development of an overarching plan to maintain the road, improve visitor facilities and protect the unique natural environment along the road and within its hinterland.
“Pleasingly, traditional owner knowledge and culture will also be built into management of the road and its environment.”
The new Authority will have its headquarters in Torquay and offices in Apollo Bay and Port Campbell as well as operational bases in other coastal towns along the road.
Recruitment for the new GORCAPA Board is expected to commence shortly and include local community representation.