Market testing for Apollo Bay Harbour development


MARKET evaluation of potential development of Apollo Bay Harbour is about to start after awarding of a contract by Colac Otway Shire.

Essential Economics will aim to complete its assessment by June 30, in consultation with Apollo Bay Harbour Project Control Group.

The group, with six Apollo Bay community representatives and government agency representatives, was formed by the council to oversee market testing and future expression of interest processes.

Development of Apollo Bay Harbour is a G21 priority project.

Mayor Chris Potter said he was pleased the testing was imminent. He looked forward to input from the Project Control Group and particularly from 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,” Cr Potter 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 in August 2016 said the market testing was an essential first step in helping determine if existing planning controls support viable delivery of community’s vision for the future of the harbour.

The site was zoned special use via a planning scheme amendment in March 2015.

Community members have indicated they want a publicly accessible aquatic and wellbeing centre and public infrastructure work including installation of boardwalks, improvements to car parks, public toilets and interpretive signs, but no accommodation or hotels.

Colac Otway Shire Council believes market testing is vital to measure whether there is sufficient market interest in delivering the objectives.

Private sector interest during the market testing phase would be important before council could progress the preparation of a business case for ministerial approval to call for expressions of interest.

The Project Control Group will consider the market testing findings and help guide next steps.

Source: Colac Otway Shire media release.