The Andrews Labor Government is improving one of the state’s most popular tourist destinations with $5 million to implement early works on the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan – the Great South Coast Regional Partnership’s top priority.
Visiting the Twelve Apostles today, Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford said maximising tourism opportunities was key to the economic success of the Great South Coast.
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 Labor 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 Labor 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 Labor Government has now invested $77 million to improve the Great Ocean Road and the Shipwreck Coast, and it is calling on the Commonwealth to also contribute funding to the cultural and environmental integrity of this icon and deliver local jobs.
Quote attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford
“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.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“The Shipwreck Coast Master Plan will reposition the Shipwreck Coast as an iconic, “must see” destination on the world stage while preserving its natural beauty and protecting its beautiful environment.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren
“The Shipwreck coast is a jewel in Victoria’s crown – and we want to encourage more visitors to stay longer and spend more in our regional communities.”