Council supports action plan

Colac Otway Shire Council supports the State Government’s commitment for one authority to manage the Great Ocean Road, but will advocate for interim upgrades until an authority is established.

Colac Otway Shire Council chief executive Peter Brown has praised the State Government’s plan to manage the Great Ocean Road, saying it responds to the council’s advocacy.

State Government ministers unveiled a Great Ocean Road Action Plan at Lorne last week, giving bipartisan support for a single independently guided authority to protect the scenic coastal route’s assets and environment.

The Coalition made a similar commitment in July, with both sides of politics responding to a Great Ocean Road taskforce issues paper earlier this year that found disconnections between the 14 public agencies responsible for the region.

“I believe the authority, which will report directly to a minister, is a significant step forward and it has general bipartisan support which will benefit its future implementation,” Mr Brown said.

“It’s a great step forward that seems to broadly respond to the advocacy from Colac Otway Shire.”

But he said he anticipated it would “take some time” for the changes to be legislated and the council would continue to advocate for the existing authorities to do interim work.

“Colac Otway Shire will be advocating that interim work is done without waiting for the legislation to come into force,” Mr Brown said.

He said a Great Ocean Road Standing Advisory Committee, also proposed under the plan, would “consider strategic planning issues” but “not take any planning roles away from council”.

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