Management of all Crown land from Torquay to Warrnambool–encompassing several caravan parks and camping grounds–will soon fall under the remit newly-formed Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority (GORCAPA), according to a new Bill lodged with Parliament yesterday.
The Great Ocean Road and Environs Protection Bill 2021 provides GORCAPA opportunity to create an over-arching plan for tourism and environmental care of the Great Ocean Road affording similar powers similar functions, powers and obligations mirroring Parks Victoria.
The small area of National Parks transferred to the Authority along the road will continue to be managed under the National Parks Act in partnership with Parks Victoria, with no change to their status or obligation to be managed as an area designated for conservation.
Forming in December 2020, the GORCAPA already manages eight Crown land caravan parks in the region.
The Victorian Government has provided more than $28 million to deliver the reforms, including $19 million for the Authority to deliver upgrades to tourism infrastructure. Before the reforms, management arrangements were fragmented, with no single authority covering the entire length of the road.
“The Great Ocean Road is one of the country’s most iconic destinations, but it is facing challenges including managing the numbers of visitors and climate change impacts,” says Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, who lodged the bill.