PUTTING PEOPLE FIRST: FIXING THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD

Almost a year to the day after the devastating Christmas fires, Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Roads Luke Donnellan toured the Wye River region today and met with local residents.

Over the past 12 months, Victoria’s most iconic and scenic stretch of road has been under threat from bushfires and floods, causing hundreds of landslides and forcing road closures.

The Andrews Labor Government will invest $53 million to improve the surface of the Great Ocean Road, and reduce the risk it will be closed in the future due to landslips.

The 240 kilometre iconic tourist route will receive urgent repairs, including new rock fall netting, retaining walls and armour stone to prevent erosion by waves.

New traffic management technology – including electronic traveller information signs, CCTV monitoring devices, real time traffic counters and more signage – will also be installed to help tourists and residents in an emergency.

The funding will safeguard this national heritage listed icon, which will benefit local residents, business owners and tourism operators who depend on it for their livelihoods.

It will also ensure communities along the Great Ocean Road remain connected during an emergency such as a bushfire or flood.

The Great Ocean Road is Australia’s most visited region and these works will go a long way towards minimising risks such as rockfalls, landslides and erosion – keeping it open for business.

This investment is on top of the $50 million the Labor Government is joint funding with the Commonwealth for capital works and maintenance on the Great Ocean Road between Apollo Bay and Allansford.

The work will complement the $2 million emergency project announced by the Government in November to build a concrete wall to stabilise the embankment between Wye River and Separation Creek. This will allow two lanes to be opened to traffic from tomorrow.

The works will start in early 2017 and include further investigations along the length of the Great Ocean Road.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews:

“The Great Ocean Road is one of the nation’s most iconic destinations and Victoria’s top tourism drawcard – we’ll do everything we can to support local communities and attract visitors from all over the world.”

“It’s just not good enough to lock out tourists and locals every time there’s an extreme weather event – we’re doing the work to make sure this beautiful part of our state is always open for business.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Roads Luke Donnellan:

“The Great Ocean Road is one of the most iconic tourist roads in Australia – we’ve been working hard to keep it open and accessible to tourists and the local community.”

“We will keep working to support local residents, communities and businesses right along the Great Ocean Road as they continue the recovery process.”

Quotes attributable to Lisa Neville Minister for Police:

“Over the last 12 months, I’ve worked closely with the Wye River community and the communities along the Great Ocean Road to help them get back on their feet – this road is critical to the local economy and to those who live, work and holiday there each year. This unprecedented investment will ensure it remains open at all times and ensures its long term viability. “