Mayor welcomes Shipwreck Coast funding

Published on 01 May 2018

Corangamite Shire Mayor Jo Beard has welcomed today’s announcement by the Victorian Government that it will commit serious dollars to the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan in the 2018-19 State Budget.

The Victorian Government has allocated $153 million to a Geelong City Deal package which includes the Twelve Apostles Visitor Experience Centre and other infrastructure improvements to the Port Campbell National Park.

The total funding pool for the City Deal is $306 million, with an expectation the $153 million State Government commitment will be matched by the Federal Government.

Cr Beard said she was “really excited and relieved” about the announcement.

“This is great news and a huge step forward for the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan, which to be honest, was starting to founder,” she said.

“Of course, we don’t know the finer details or exact dollars yet, and the Federal Government needs to get on board with matching funding.

“We know some of the funding will go towards the Geelong City revitalisation program and convention centre, but we’ve been assured there will be a lot for the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan.

“It sounds like a major investment and that is exactly what the Twelve Apostles needs right now,” she said.

Cr Beard said the announcement meant the Victorian Government had been listening.

Corangamite Shire has listed the Timboon to Port Campbell section of the Twelve Apostles Trail, Glenample Visitor Experience Centre and the Port Campbell Town Centre as priority projects under the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan.

With almost three million visitors each year, the Twelve Apostles’ reputation as a world class natural attraction has suffered with poor facilities, overcrowding, litter and traffic issues.

“I want visitors to go away with great memories and that ‘wow’ feeling this natural icon deserves, rather than feeling underwhelmed after battling traffic and crowds to get a view,” Cr Beard said.

“This project will really transform the way visitors experience our coastline, it will mean our natural attractions are better managed, and it will benefit communities across the entire Great South Coast region.”

Cr Beard said a great number of people, including former Mayors and Councillors across the South West and tourism bodies such as GORRT (Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism) had advocated for the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan and a world class experience at the Twelve Apostles for many years.

“I want to thank Warrnambool City, Moyne, Southern Grampians, Surf Coast and Colac Otway Shire Councils for sharing our vision and working with us over the best part of the last decade to push the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan as a top priority for the Great South Coast region.”