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Great Ocean Road Taskforce needed now

The Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is being urged to formulate and activate a Taskforce he promised months ago to support the Great Ocean Road.

$1.3 million funding for the Great Ocean Road Taskforce was announced in the May 2017-2018 State Budget.

But Member for Western Victoria, Simon Ramsay, said nothing more has been heard of it.

“I have written to the Premier asking him what’s happening.  I don’t know who is on the Taskforce, who chairs it and if it has even met yet,” Mr Ramsay said.

The Taskforce is designed to review the plethora of agencies that currently have some oversight, responsibility and management for parts of the Great Ocean Road (GOR). It is supposed to report back to the Government with recommendations that will improve the road’s overall management.

“It would avoid duplication of roles, over-administration, gaps in services and management and provide a singular voice with which better funding, planning and management solutions can be achieved.”

It is aimed at ensuring the future needs of the iconic road and its assets are met.

“I am concerned about the current status of the Taskforce given none of the Local Government municipalities in the region I have spoken with are aware of the Taskforce or its activities.

“State and Federal Governments have committed funds to the road of $100 million.  VicRoads is yet to prioritise projects for this funding – the Taskforce could play a role in this process,” Mr Ramsay said.

He said the Taskforce needs to be in place now given the potential for a City Deal with the Commonwealth, State and Local Governments that will deliver significantly more funding for the GOR.

“This Taskforce needs to maximise the potential for the GOR within that deal.

“The Taskforce also needs to be independent and it needs to get to work.

“The Premier needs to get moving and implement the GOR Taskforce immediately,” he said.