A Port Campbell local is calling on both sides of politics to stop talking and start doing when it comes to better management of the Twelve Apostles.
Steph Ziegelaar, whose family runs Port Campbell Fuel, said she was angered by comments from Member for Polwarth Richard Riordan that no money should be spent on the Twelve Apostles precinct until management was removed from Parks Victoria.
“The Twelve Apostles is just going to get busier. They need to work out how they can manage it rather than just bagging everyone out. They should be trying to deal with it,” she said.
“They need to look bigger, not just leave things as they are for the amount of people we’re getting.”
Ms Ziegelaar defended local staff, who she said were doing the best they could.
“They’re the ones out there trying to do something about it,” she said.
Last week, Mr Riordan said no funds should be directed to the site until there was a complete rethink on how it was managed. He said the site was beyond Parks Victoria’s “capabilities and skill set”.
Ms Ziegelaar, who also works at Port Campbell’s Alcove Cafe, said the town had been “insane” over the Christmas-new year period and was now preparing for Chinese New Year.
“There’s just so many more tourists coming through Port Campbell now. So many more people are doing the Great Ocean Road,” she said.
At the very least, Ms Ziegelaar said a larger car park and better viewing platforms were needed at the Twelve Apostles.
“They definitely need a bigger car park because you can’t have cars parking on the side of Great Ocean Road, there’s already enough havoc on there already,” she said.
Corangamite Shire councillors have also toured the Twelve Apostles during the summer peak and have repeated their calls for state government funding to improve infrastructure.
Deputy mayor Neil Trotter said the inadequate infrastructure was posing a safety risk.
“It’s a shambles. We have pedestrians, cars and buses sharing the same space and we really need both sides of the state government to invest a realistic amount of funding to keep everyone safe,” he said.
“Reducing the traffic jams will also mean visitors enjoy their experience rather than going away with stories of disappointment that undermine our reputation as a world-class tourist destination.”
Cr Trotter urged all political parties to back the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan’s recommendations for the Twelve Apostles.
“The Shipwreck Coast Master Plan gives us a detailed guidelines for how to strengthen our local economy and create jobs through sustainable tourism,” he said.
“Council calls on all members from both sides of Parliament to help us work towards that future, starting at the main attraction: the Twelve Apostles.”