The Victorian Government has delivered new reforms to protect the Great Ocean Road, including the creation of the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority.
The new legislation has been introduced into the Victorian Parliament that will reform management of the Great Ocean Road and its landscapes.
The Great Ocean Road and Environs Protection Bill 2019, establishes dedicated management arrangements to better protect the road’s environment and the jobs, businesses and livability of communities that rely on it.
The Bill gives effect to reforms outline in the Government Great Ocean Road Plan. It establishes the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority to deliver a more coordinated and sustainable approach to land and visitor management.
Currently 11 entities have responsibility over the length of the road with no clear, overarching plan.
The Bill will strengthen and imbed Traditional Owner knowledge and culture into the management of the landscapes traversed by the road. Traditional Owner language is also included in the body of the Bill.
This will recognise the scenic landscapes along the road as the one living and integrated entity for protection, with requirements to implement a landscape management approach and stricter planning controls.
It will also recognise the state significance of the Great Ocean Road and its landscapes.
The tourist site is facing pressure from increasing visitor numbers, natural processes and the impacts of climate change.
These reforms will help to manage pressure and ensure the road continues to bring visitors to Victoria while delivering benefits for the local communities in the region.