THE $500 million wish-list for the Great Ocean Road released by the state government yesterday is a big, bold document that will frighten the living daylights out of environmentalists.
Millions more visitors, bigger and better accommodation and the dismantling of barriers to private-sector investment are the cornerstones of the vision for the iconic tourist attraction.
Many will take the view that such a plan undermines the very thing that makes the Great Ocean Road so popular its natural beauty.
But tourism in the region already captures around seven million domestic and international visitors already, more than any other regional tourist attraction in Victoria.
Forecasts indicate that the Great Ocean Road region will attract between 9.6 million and 10.5 million visitors by 2030: a growth of 2.4 million.
There is a strong view, supported by government, that the area is not reaching anything like its potential as a world-class destination.
If the region wants a slice of the lucrative inbound tourism market, particularly from masses of cashed-up Chinese, it has to develop and grow.
Strategic planning at state and federal level dictates that for the Great Ocean Road to make the most of Australia's projected growth in tourism it has to stay compelling.
But it is not going to do that by staying the same.
There are opportunities for investors to create attractions that better compliment the area's natural beauty, history and heritage and food and wine.
In accommodation alone it is estimated that by 2030 up to four large resorts of 4.5 star standard will be required, 90 farm-stays, up to five new large backpacker hostels, five more caravan parks, a dozen more hotels or motels and up to 50 more guest houses and B&Bs.
We should welcome the long-term economic benefits that this exciting vision will bring to the region, but the gains must not be at the expense of our natural heritage.
It is crucial for our local government planners to ensure that there is a balance between investment and environment.
There is much to gain, but there is also much to lose.