MELBOURNE, Nov 17: The Andrews Labor Government is making it easier to see more of Victoria’s beautiful surf coast, unveiling a major upgrade to facilities and infrastructure along the Great Ocean Road to boost visitation and support jobs.
The major Budget commitment ensures that the Great Ocean Road will continue to be a beacon for travellers as the state’s visitor economy recovers from bushfires and coronavirus.
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula, Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes and Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio today announced $44.1 million to keep building the Great Ocean Road Coastal Trail and provide improved visitor facilities.
Some $23.8 million will be allocated towards the extension of the Great Ocean Road Coastal Trail from Fairhaven to Grey River.
It will provide never-before-seen views of the Great Ocean Road and its surrounding coastal and hinterland landscapes with five swing bridges and upgraded facilities. Some $2 million will also be invested in increasing the capacity for camping on the Surf Coast.
It is anticipated that the extended Great Ocean Road Coastal Trail will attract an additional 50,000 people to the region in its first five years, and an extra $47 million in visitor expenditure.
The funding announced today will deliver the first three stages of the project – Fairhaven to Lorne, Lorne to Wye River and Wye River to Grey River.
An allocation of $18.3 million over two years will allow the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority to upgrade visitor facilities and infrastructure such as toilets, viewing platforms, trails, beach access and car parking.
The works will also include the installation of smart nodes at key locations along the Great Ocean Road to provide free public Wi-Fi, and sensors for the efficient management of energy and waste collection.