The Victorian Government has appointed an inaugural Board and Chairperson of the soon to be established Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority (GORCAPA) set up to protect the iconic Great Ocean Road.
The appointments to the new authority are part of the Government’s landmark reforms to protect and improve the Great Ocean Road coast and parks for future generations.
Ms Libby Mears has been appointed Chairperson. Ms Mears is a well-known local and brings strong executive experience to the table. She was formerly the Mayor of the Surf Coast Shire and Chair of the Victorian Coastal Council and has a deep connection with Great Ocean Road communities and environments.
The Board includes a nominee of each recognised Traditional Owner group in the region, the Wadawurrung Corporation and the Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation.
Other board members bring extensive experience in tourism, economic development, governance and planning, with many living in the region.
Once fully established, GORCAPA will coordinate public land along the entire length of the Great Ocean Road ensuring tourism operations can thrive, creating jobs and delivering long-term benefits for the local community.
It will help identify and facilitate sustainable development opportunities through better planning, replacing existing land management arrangements that are complex and involve multiple public land managers with no clear overarching plan.
The reforms will also support the region by creating local jobs, driving investment and providing a better visitor experience.
GORCAPA will formally commence on 1 December 2020 with the transfer of responsibilities from the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee and the Otway Coast Committee; with further coastal Crown land from Torquay to Warrnambool being progressively transferred to the Authority over several years.
As stated by Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio
“I’m proud to be able to appoint the first ever Board for this authority and I’m confident all members have the skills, the passion and the dedication to deliver a new way of managing our precious Great Ocean Road.”
As stated by Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula
“These reforms are about protecting the Great Ocean Road so it continues to be an iconic destination for local and international tourists, creating jobs and boosting local economies.”
As stated by GORCAPA Chair, Ms Libby Mears
“It is a great honour to be appointed the first Chair of GORCAPA. This is an exciting time for the Great Ocean Road region. Together we will deliver a new and more coordinated management approach that benefits locals and protects the environment.”