The Andrews Labor Government is establishing an expert Taskforce to protect and grow the Great Ocean Road and fast-track the projects that attract visitors to the landmark attraction.
Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren today announced the Taskforce’s membership at the Barwon Regional Assembly. It’s a priority for the Regional Partnership, and for the first time it’s bringing together the key agencies responsible for the road.
The Great Ocean Road is high on the list of travellers from right around the world. A steady stream of visitors means more opportunities for cafes, motels, eco-tourism operators and other regional businesses.
The Taskforce will be co-chaired by former Victorian Ministers for Transport Terry Mulder and Peter Batchelor. Its primary goal will be to encourage more tourism and investment in the region.
It will also feature G21 Chief Executive Elaine Carbines, former Chair of Victorian Coastal Council Diane James AM, Great Ocean Road Tourism Chair Wayne Kayler-Thomson and the chief executives from five local councils.
The first role of the Taskforce will be to work out what is and isn’t working when it comes to creating opportunities for the tourist hot spot. The Taskforce will report back to the Labor Government before the end of the year – and then again with a final report in 2018.
The Taskforce will identify ways to improve tourism and investment and projects that will boost the local economy. The Taskforce will be charged with the role of boosting visitation to keep local businesses and traders busy – and creating jobs for locals.
The Labor Government is providing $1.3 million to establish the Taskforce, including $80,000 for local councils to speed up planning applications.
We are investing $53 million to improve the surface of the Great Ocean Road and stabilise the surrounding environment, with works including rock netting, soil nails and new retaining walls to reduce the chance of road closures due to land slips.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“The Great Ocean Road is one of Victoria’s most prized tourist destinations and we’ll do everything we can to protect it and to make it even better. This is about jobs and attracting visitors from right around the world.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism and Major Events, and Member for Lara John Eren
“The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most spectacular destinations and our state’s biggest tourism drawcard. We’ve got to keep investing in it to bring new waves of visitors and boost local jobs.”
Quotes attributable Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney
“The Great Ocean Road has something for everyone and the best of everything. All year round it’s a hot spot for busloads of tourists. We’ll make sure it stays that way.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Geelong Christine Couzens
“Together with a revitalised city centre, a more visitor-friendly Great Ocean Road will mean more tourist dollars and more jobs for Greater Geelong and beyond.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville
“This is all about fast tracking iconic and critical projects to support Victoria’s premier natural attraction.”