A state government body corporate to govern the Great Ocean Road region has been launched.
Minister for Environment Lily D'Ambrosio launched the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority in Torquay which aims to protect the iconic road and boost tourism to the region through a single, dedicated body to manage the region's public land, beaches, national parks, tourism operations and accommodation.
Ms D'Ambrosio said the new authority will deliver a more coordinated and sustainable approach to planning and tourism
"This is an exciting day for the Great Ocean Road region," she said.
"This will protect the beaches and environment, it will bring more visitors to Victoria, and deliver benefits for local communities."
The recent Victorian Budget provided $47.5 million to improve visitor infrastructure, support management reforms and boosting jobs across the region.
The authority will receive $18.3 million to deliver upgrades to visitor facilities such as toilets, caravan parks, viewing platforms, trails, beach access and car parking.
There is $3.4 million allocated in the budget for management reforms including development of a strategic framework plan for future use, protection and development of land across the broader region and support for Traditional Owners to develop opportunities to share economic benefits within the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks.
The state government will also deliver construction of the first three sections of a new $23.8 million coastal walking trail from Fairhaven to Grey River, which will attract an additional 50,000 people to the region in its first five years and an extra $47 million in visitor expenditure.
Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney said the new authority will help expand the tourism experience of the region.
"The Great Ocean Road is an international tourist draw card with more visitors each year than Uluru and the Barrier Reef combined," she said.
"The authority will ensure these natural assets are protected for future generations."
A independent Board and Chair were appointed in November, including a nominee of each recognised Traditional Owner group in the region.
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