Suggestion for council to take over coast committee

Colac Otway Shire Councillors will vote this week to investigate the feasibility of taking over the management of coastal reserves, including at Apollo Bay.

Colac Otway Shire Councillors will vote this week to investigate the feasibility of taking over the management of coastal reserves, including at Apollo Bay.

Cr Chris Potter will put up a motion at Wednesday’s council meeting for the council to research the roles of the Otway Coast Committee, and whether it would benefit the community for the council to take over the management of coastal foreshore reserves.

The Otway Coast Committee manages 28.5 kilometres of crown land between Marengo and Separation Creek, including toilets, playgrounds, open space, the Apollo Bay Recreation Reserve and the Wye River Foreshore Camping Ground.

But the council manages neighbouring pieces of land, leading to community confusion about who is responsible for managing toilets, playgrounds, shelters, bins and lawns.

Cr Potter said a council takeover might lead to better management and facilities along the coast.

“I don’t think it’s any secret that assets and resources along the coast are antique, insufficient and just not coping with tourists from interstate and overseas,” he said.

“Otway Coast Committee are great people and are doing the best they can, but whenever something goes wrong down there, it’s always Colac Otway Shire that gets the blame anyway.”

Cr Potter said he did not intend the suggestion as a criticism of the Otway Coast Committee, and he anticipated the council would take into consideration the OCC’s views before making any decisions.

He also said he was just pushing for the council to research the proposal.

“It may not be a good idea. It’s premature to say this is going to happen; I think we should look at it.”

Cr Potter said the council had received letters from community members suggesting the takeover.

“It’s looking at trying to improve the management and service delivery along the coast,” he said.

For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.

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