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September 2004  
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$13.5 million to make the Great Ocean Road greater
Monday, September 6, 2004

Click here to visit photo galleryA new 20-year land and transport plan, unveiled in Jan Juc today by the the Premier, Steve Bracks, will ensure Victoria's famous Great Ocean Road is preserved for future generations.

Mr Bracks said the Government had committed more than $13.5 million to the Great Ocean Road Region Strategy, which will protect the area from inappropriate development while improving roads and transport.

"The Great Ocean Road is a national treasure. It's an Australian icon and one of the most famous drives in the world," he said.

"This road draws thousands of tourists to the region every year. It was built by thousands of returned servicemen between 1919 and 1932 as a memorial to Australians killed in World War I.

"Those men put in the backbreaking work to make this region what it is today – an international tourist destination and a key economic area of the state. It is our job to protect their legacy and to plan for future development in the region."

Mr Bracks said the Government would spend $11.9 million to make the Great Ocean Road safer.

The funding includes:

  • $10.4 million -from the Transport Accident Commission's Arrive Alive! Safer Roads Program to improve an 88km stretch of the road from Torquay to Apollo Bay and
  • $1.5 million to strengthen and smooth the road surface at five sites along the road.

Minister Responsible for the TAC, Rob Hulls, said the $10. 4 million would pay for guardrails, reflective guideposts, warning signs and improved line marking.

"Traffic on this part of the road is growing by five per cent a year," he said. "Between 1999 and 2003, five people were killed and 312 injured on the road between Torquay and Apollo Bay."

Transport Minister, Peter Batchelor, said the bicycle network at Jan Juc and Apollo Bay would be extended and pedestrian crossings would be provided at Anglesea as part of the $1.5 million in funding.

Mr Bracks also announced more than $1.6 million to boost tourism opportunities in the Otways over the next three years.

"Funds will be allocated to upgrade key sites in the Otways and provide new tourism opportunities," he said.

Projects to receive funding include:

  • Sealing of road and upgrade of the road to the Cape Otway Light-station ($550,000)
  • Installation of a major pedestrian and bike bridge across the Gellibrand River on the Old Beechy Line Rail Trail ($350,000);
  • Further extension and improvement of the Great Ocean Walk ($300,000)
  • Training and development for Otway Hinterland tourism businesses and promotion of the area ($244,000)
  • Interpretation and tourist signage in the Great Ocean Road region ($100,000)
  • Events development in the Colac Otway Shire ($75,000)
  • Development of a touring route through the Otways ($25,000).

Planning Minister, Mary Delahunty, said the Great Ocean Road Region Strategy would help protect the landscape, care for the environment and manage the growth of towns.

"The Great Ocean Road Region is Victoria's most popular visitor destination outside Melbourne. Approximately 7 million people visit this part of Victoria each year," Ms Delahunty said.

"Visitation to the region will continue to grow and while this is good for the local economy, the growth needs to be carefully managed so the demands it places on infrastructure and services can be met, and its landscape values protected."

The Strategy includes initiatives such as:

  • Developing and promoting safe travel routes through the hinterland, taking pressure off the Great Ocean Road;
  • Providing more travel choices through better seasonal bus services and improving walking and cycling opportunities;
  • Protecting significant landscapes along the coast and in the hinterland
  • Implementing planning measures to respect the unique character of coastal towns and encourage sustainable development;
  • Creating new tourism attractions in the Otways as the area moves away from an economic reliance on the timber industry.

Ms Delahunty said the Great Ocean Road Region Strategy had involved extensive consultation with local communities, local government, tourism organisations, local and regional stakeholder and government agencies.

"The Government will continue to work with local communities to ensure this iconic region is protected. And I would like to congratulate Colac-Otway, Corangamite, Moyne, Surf Coast and Warrnambool municipalities for their effort and input to the Strategy."

Source: media release from the Office of the Premier

Audio grabs of the day

The mpg3 audio files below were recorded and prepared by Nicholas Soames. If you have problems listening to them and would like some help, email me at - [email protected]

Key Note Speakers

Interviews

  • Interview with Planning Minister, Mary Delahunty by Nicholas Soames - Listen to audio grab>> (669KB)
  • Premier Steve Bracks responds to question about traffic congestion at Anglesea over summer (sorry about the bumpy audio) - Listen to audio grab>> (112KB)
  • "Are windfarms a prospect along the Great Ocean Road?" - Premier Steve Bracks responds - Listen to audio grab>> (376KB)
  • "What sets this area apart from the beautiful drive to Wilson's Promontory?" - Premier Steve Bracks responds - Listen to audio grab>> (130KB)
  • "What would be your response to a windfarm application?" - Planning Minister, Mary Delahunty responds - Listen to audio grab>> (125KB)

 

Premier, Steve Bracks with the Great Ocean Road Regional Strategy Plan

Premier, Steve Bracks with the Great Ocean Road Regional Strategy Plan

Labor Corangamite candidate, Peter McMullin and Steve Bracks take a photo opportunity

Labor's Corangamite candidate, Peter McMullin and Steve Bracks take time out for a photo opportunity

Facing questions outside the Jan Juc Surf Life Saving Club house

 

 

 

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