The Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) has welcomed the Andrews Government’s recently released masterplan to upgrade the Shipwreck Coast, but has called for the strategy to be supported by further funding for the implementation of the plan’s measures.
“The tourism sector is pleased to see the masterplan to improve this iconic visitor destination, however we want to see significant funding for these much-needed initiatives,” said VTIC Acting Chief Executive Erin Joyce.
Industry was pleased to see the announced $4.4 million to improve the sewer facilities at the Twelve Apostles Visitor Centre, as called for by local tourism operators. However, VTIC calls on the Andrews Government to commit significant funding in the coming months to the $174 million upgrade.
Stage 1 priorities include:
– $10 million to improve the interpretation facilities and amenity at the Twelve Apostles kiosk site;
– $100 million over two years to commence infrastructure improvements throughout the masterplan region, such as:
“This funding will attract private sector investment in walking trails, eco-lodges and larger scale accommodation, as well as adventure, and health and wellness developments in appropriate areas,” said Ms Joyce.
In addition, $500,000 is needed to develop an implementation plan for the rest of the projects, to give business certainty regarding the full implementation of the masterplan.
Due to the strong international demand to visit the area, all projects included in the masterplan must be completed within 10 years, rather than 20 years as currently planned.
“The masterplan forecasts that, when fully implemented, the projects will add $214 million per annum to the regional economy and create over 1,000 jobs in the area,” said Ms Joyce.
“Given this significant potential and the fact that the coast is one of Victoria’s greatest tourism drawcards, we call on the government to allocate significant funding as a priority for 2016.”