A new authority set up to oversee the management of the Great Ocean Road has been labelled as "bizarre" and "unnecessary".
Victorian National Parks Association spokesman Phil Ingamells made the comments, but he was not the only one to raise concerns about the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority that would be created on December 1.
Corangamite Shire Council mayor Neil Trotter said it wasn't clear who would sit on the board, if there would be any council representation and how much say the new authority would have over local planning matters.
He said handing over the management of the Port Campbell and Princetown recreation reserves to the new authority within two years could upset some community members.
The Victorian Parliament passed legislation last week which would see the creation of the new entity which aims to deliver a more coordinated approach to public land management along the 243km stretch of road.
It will be headquartered in Torquay with offices in Apollo Bay and Port Campbell as well as operational bases in other coastal towns.
Mr Ingamells said once further legislation had passed, the new authority would sit above Parks Victoria and was a "wasteful doubling of administrative resources".
"They have voted into place a government department which has no funding and no business model, we have no idea where the money for this is coming from, it's just bizarre," he said.
Mr Ingamells said he also feared it could weaken the environmental protection of national parks.
"Currently most public land along the Great Ocean Road, about 80 per cent, is protected as national park. Responsibility for their management currently lies with Parks Victoria," he said.
"The new bill will establish the authority as an entity that significantly takes management authority and control from Parks Victoria and a degree of control over marine protected areas, including Point Addis and the Twelve Apostles."
A state government spokesman said further legislation was required before responsibility for any national parks land was transferred from Parks Victoria to the authority.
Port Campbell community group secretary Marion Manifold said she was concerned the authority would reduce local input.
"The Great Ocean Road cannot ever be, nor should it be considered, one living and integrated entity," she said.
"There are many biodiversity and ecological vegetation classes modules along the length of the road which must be treated individually by local conservation authorities.
"There are diverse communities and diversity within communities which must be considered and consulted equally and fairly."
Ms Manifold said any revenue generated in the region should go towards conservation efforts.
"There will be new employees to be paid for and infrastructure - it seems any money collected would not go toward environmental conservation and more likely wages and infrastructure," she said.
"Better the money went to a conservation-based Parks Victoria and national parks."
Cr Trotter, along with Western Victoria MP Andy Meddick, said they supported some form of user-pay system along the Great Ocean Road to bring revenue back into the local communities.
Mr Meddick said he had made a number of amendments to the bill, but he still held concerns.
"My concern for is for the coastline and I felt there wasn't enough community input into the structure of the authority or the members of the board that will make up the authority who will ultimately be making all the decisions," he said.
"I felt there needed to be better community representation on that.
"The intention of the bill in essence I'm not in disagreement with per say.
"Having an overarching authority that can have a say and influence and structure on the planning side of things to prevent inappropriate development is a great idea."
A Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning spokesman didn't say how the 12-person board would be selected but said it would include an independent chair, a nominee of each recognised Traditional Owner group and independent skill-based board members.
He said funding options for the authority included leases, licences, caravan parks and events, as well as charging visitors such as through parking fees, vehicle passes and accommodation levies, excluding locals.
Crown land will be transferred to the authority to manage in stages starting with Great Ocean Road Coast Committee and Otway Coast Committee on its commencement.
There won't be any job losses, and no employee will be worse off, he said.
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