Shipwreck Coast Master Plan work begins
The state government has allocated $5 million to implement early works on the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan.
The works are the Great South Coast Regional Partnership’s top priority and are consistent with calls by G21 and others to provide better coordination and improved infrastrucutre, both public and private, along the entire length of the Great Ocean Road.
Visiting the Twelve Apostles today (12 Oct 2017), Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford said maximising tourism opportunities was key to the economic success of the Great South Coast and other sections of the Great Ocean Road.
Last year the Great South Coast Regional Partnership identified the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan as its number one priority for building a strong regional economy while celebrating the region’s beautiful environment.
The Shipwreck Coast attracts 2.6 million visitors every year, which can cause congestion on the roads that detracts from the visitor experience and has the potential to impact the natural environment.
The $5 million of early works on the Master Plan includes initiatives to improve and better manage the flow of traffic and safety for pedestrians, and comprehensive planning for a vastly improved arrival experience at the national park, such as a Park and Ride shuttle service over the medium term.
In addition to the early works funding, the government has already invested $9.8 million to deliver Stage One of the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan, which will create 120 new jobs and boost the regional economy by $12 million a year over the next 20 years.
Stage One will be delivered by 2020 and includes new lookouts at the Twelve Apostles and ‘The Blowhole’, a new pedestrian bridge over Campbell’s Creek, new connecting trails, improved telecommunications and a digital interpretation platform focussed on the Twelve Apostles.
The government’s investment will encourage people to stay longer and increase spending in communities along the Great Ocean Road by providing a greater range of tourism experiences and world-class facilities.
Today’s announcement means the state government has now invested $77 million to improve the Great Ocean Road and the Shipwreck Coast.
Minister Pulford said the state government called on the Commonwealth to also contribute funding to the cultural and environmental integrity of this icon and deliver local jobs.
“The region attracts 2.6 million visitors a year but the average visitor stays less than 40 minutes and spends only 18 cents. We’re ready to turn the tide on that and maximise that potential.”
The state government recently announced that it was establishing an expert taskforce to protect and grow the Great Ocean Road and fast-track projects that attract and cater for visitors. G21 CEO Elaine Carbines has been named as a member of the taskforce, which will be co-chaired by former Victorian ministers for transport Terry Mulder and Peter Batchelor.
The Great Ocean Road is a G21 Priority Project.
Source: Based on a state government media release