Victoria’s leading industry council has today welcomed news that the Corangamite Shire Council has rejected an independent panel’s decision to abandon important and iconic tourism projects planned for the Great Ocean Road that would generate jobs and offer increased benefits for the local tourism industry.
Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) Chief Executive Dianne Smith says the change in decision is a positive move for this key tourism region.
“While the panel originally offered some interesting recommendations, the decision to abandon four coastal projects was a step backwards,” says Ms Smith.
“The decision to go ahead with this investment in tourism will make Victoria a very competitive tourist destination, likely to attract potential high-quality investment, matched to market demand.
“The recommendations will allow appropriate, sensitive and sustainable tourism development along the coast, which in turn will create jobs, create local economic benefits, help tell stories and improve the welfare of Victorian regional towns.”
About 2.6 million people visit the region each year and its iconic natural attractions, such as the Twelve Apostles, but only 18 per cent of these visitors stay overnight in the region.
“We now urge the State Government, in particular the Planning Minister, to approve the amendments necessary to enable this important tourism improvement,” says Ms Smith.
“We congratulate the Corangamite Shire for implementing the original study into tourism opportunities along the Great Ocean Road, and the subsequent planning scheme amendment. The move was a sensible and strategic approach by a council seeking to increase the social and economic dividends from tourism in its region, and the region will benefit from this important decision.”