The government has also allocated $44.1 million to extend the Great Ocean Road Coastal Trail from Fairhaven to Grey River and provide improved visitor facilities including toilets, swing bridges, viewing platforms, beach access, car parking, free public Wifi locations and waste collection sensors.
Funding to build rock groynes at Apollo Bay to protect the dune, walking path, cypress trees and Great Ocean Road is also included in the 2020-21 State Budget.
“Colac Otway Shire Council has been calling for significant investment to manage erosion, maintain the Great Ocean Road and improve tourism infrastructure such as toilets, for some time,” Cr Hanson said.
“The State Government’s Budget commitments will be important for protecting our communities along the road, this iconic asset and our future.
“Every storm, every high tide has caused increasing concern, with an urgent need to address erosion, particularly at Apollo Bay and Marengo.
“There has also never been a more important time for the State Government to invest in vital infrastructure upgrades, our coastal communities and our local tourism industry.
“Our tourism industry has been hard hit by the COVID19 pandemic and the funding to expand and improve visitor infrastructure shows the State Government’s recognition of the value of the Colac Otway region as a major attraction with huge potential.
“Tourism and hospitality operators need that confidence boost as their businesses move into post- COVID recovery and they look to the future.