Move for visitor parking fees on Great Ocean Road

Member for Polwarth Richard Riordan.

Member for Polwarth Richard Riordan.

Member for Polwarth Richard Riordan has called for Great Ocean Road (GOR) visitors to pay for parking permits to create an income to upgrade tourist facilities.

Mr Riordan said he had gained general agreement from the Corangamite, Colac Otway and Surf Coast shires for the move.

Under the proposal, locals would be issued with a permit with their council rate notices that would exempt them from paying for parking at GOR attractions.

Visitors would pay for a $20 permit, enforced by council officers.

Mr Riordan said having the permit scheme managed by local government would ensure the money generated stayed in the region.

He said $150 million of urgent improvements to GOR tourism infrastructure had already been identified but no money had been provided to build them.

The state government’s GOR taskforce announced this week to fast track tourism development would be nothing more than a “talkfest” unless an income stream was generated to fund better tourism facilities, Mr Riordan said.

“On the GOR, from Anglesea to Port Campbell, we see some hundreds of thousands of international visitors per year, and five million domestic day trippers per annum, and little is done to help offset this huge cost on our small towns, and the growing cost to the natural environment,” he said.

“There are 3000 vehicles daily on GOR, yet there are third world toilet facilities and a chronic lack of adequate parking, especially in busy periods and during events.

“People pay fees to experience tourist destinations throughout Australia and around the world, yet the GOR is free.”