COLAC DISTRICT residents say much-needed passing lanes on the Forrest-Apollo Bay Road will have huge benefits for communities, tourism and road safety.
The Federal Government committed to spend $5 million to build passing lanes on the winding Otways road in its 2016-17 budget announced this week, along with $25 million for the Great Ocean Road.
Forrest’s Sharon Bradshaw said the Forrest-Apollo Bay Road was “a vital route connecting Otway communities”.
“As a connector to the Great Ocean Road, it’s also used by many tourists,” Ms Bradshaw said.
“Road safety is so important and the current design of the road with a lack of passing opportunities is a real concern.
“This news will provide great benefits for local businesses, locals and tourists.”
Apollo Bay’s Jane Gross said she and the Apollo Bay community were pleased the government had promised funds to upgrade the Forrest-Apollo Bay Road “which has high usage and requires attention”.
Corangamite MP Sarah Henderson said she had “heard loud and clear the concerns of local residents about the safety of the Forrest-Apollo Bay Road”.
“There is nowhere for motorists to pass between Forrest and Apollo Bay making the road slow and, at times, dangerous,” Ms Henderson said.
“I am delighted we are providing $5 million to upgrade this road, which I hope will be matched by the Victorian Government, to deliver this important safety upgrade.
“This is a very important tourist road for Corangamite which is so vital in supporting the broader tourist economy.”
The government also promised a total of $25 million to upgrade the Great Ocean Road in the budget, with $10 million already committed last month and an extra $15 million announced on Wednesday as part of a regional roads package.
Corangamite MP Sarah Henderson said the $25-million Great Ocean Road commitment in the budget brought the federal funding total for the iconic tourist road to $50 million.
“The Great Ocean Road attracts 2.5-million visitors each year, and is the centrepiece of our regional $2.1-billion tourism industry which supports 10,000 local jobs.
“I am incredibly proud to deliver this further investment for jobs, road safety, tourism and the many thousands of people who live in and around the Great Ocean Road.”