The Victorian Government has delivered once-in-a-generation reforms to better protect and manage the Great Ocean Road and its iconic coasts and parks.
The Great Ocean Road and Environs Protection Bill 2019 has passed the Victorian Parliament today and will play an important role helping the region bounce back from the impacts of coronavirus by supporting local jobs, driving investment and improving the experience of visitors.
The Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority (GORCAPA) will be established by 1 December this year to deliver a more coordinated and sustainable approach to public land management.
Traditional Owner knowledge and culture will also be imbedded in the management of the landscapes covered by the Great Ocean Road. The legislation that passed Parliament also included Traditional Owner language.
The legislation will reform the management of the Great Ocean Road with the GORCAPA delivering a more coordinated and sustainable approach to land and visitor management.
Existing management arrangements for the road are complex and fragmented, with 11 different Crown land managers having responsibility along the length of the road with no clear overarching plan.
The new parks management authority will have its headquarters in Torquay and offices in Apollo Bay and Port Campbell as well as operational bases in other coastal towns along the road.
Recruitment for the new GORCAPA Board will also commence shortly and include local community and Traditional Owner input into management and strategy of the Road and its surrounds.
As noted by Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“These landmark reforms are about better managing the pressures facing the Great Ocean Road, and the coast and parks along it. It will mean improvements for visitors as well as more benefits for local communities.”
“This unique environment and landscape is loved not just by Victorians, but by people across the world. These reforms will preserve the environment for generations to come.”
As stated by Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula
“The Great Ocean Road is an international tourism drawcard with more visitors each year than Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef combined. These reforms will make sure it continues to be an iconic destination for tourists.”