Push for Shipwreck funding

Under pressure: A dashcam image of the Great Ocean Road over the Easter weekend showing cars and people lining the road.
Under pressure: A dashcam image of the Great Ocean Road over the Easter weekend showing cars and people lining the road.

The Great South Coast Group has joined the chorus of south-west leaders calling for state government funding to bring Great Ocean Road infrastructure up to scratch.

Great South Coast Group chair Kylie Gaston said the Great Ocean Road drew more visitors than Phillip Island and the Whitsundays and brought huge economic benefit to Victoria.

“Many international visitors have the Great Ocean Road region – including the Twelve Apostles – on their travel itineraries,” the Warrnambool mayor said.

“This is enormously beneficial to Victoria, particularly Melbourne, because huge numbers of visitors enjoy a day trip to the Twelve Apostles, then return to stay overnight in Melbourne.

“So the evidence is that an investment in the Great Ocean Road region is of benefit to Victoria.”

The Great South Coast Group, made up of south-west councils, is calling on the state government to devote further funding the the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan, which maps out infrastructure improvements for the Great Ocean Road between Peterborough and Princetown.

“The Shipwreck Coast Master Plan outlines how we can ensure that the Great Ocean Road region remains an enduring attraction with an enviable reputation,” Cr Gaston said.

“The master plan is also focused on encouraging visitors to stay for longer in the region. We want people to extend their stay and extend the range of their visit beyond the Twelve Apostles.

“Visitors need to know that other great attractions including our Warrnambool, Tower Hill Reserve, Portland, Port Fairy and Hamilton are just a short distance away and would add tremendous value to their stay.”

The Council and the Great South Coast group of municipalities are calling on the Victorian Government to invest in the region worth an estimated $780 million each year to the Victorian economy.

The section covered under the master plan attracts 2.6 million visitors a year, but they stay less than 40 minutes and spend only 18 cents.