Victoria has announced that $272.4 million has been allocated in the 2020/21 State Budget for an upgrade to the Great Ocean Road, including its inland routes and key roads supporting the South West Region’s dairy industry.
This includes $140 million to upgrade and improve the resilience of the Great Ocean Road so it can continue carrying millions of people each year as Victoria’s number one tourist route.
Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Ben Carroll, said, “The Great Ocean Road is an iconic Victorian attraction which brings millions of visitors to the region each year and is the lifeline for a number of communities along the coast.
“This will deliver stronger, safer and more reliable roads for locals, tourists and the freight industry – it will help to boost the region’s economic recovery following the pandemic.”
This will include vital works to ensure the road remains strong – such as rebuilding road pavement, bridge strengthening, geotechnical works, and safety upgrades.
Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney, said, “We’re investing in this much-loved road so that it can continue to carry millions of visitors each year and showcase the beauty of south west Victoria.”
Another $115 million will be invested into upgrading the inland routes between the Great Ocean Road and the Princes Highway West, which are vital connections for the tourism and freight industries as well as local communities.
These upgrades will include pavement widening and rebuilding works so roads are stronger and smoother, as well as the construction of retaining walls to reduce the risk of landslips.
$17.4 million will also be invested in priority roads which support the Barwon South West Dairy Supply Chain – including rebuilding, resurfacing and widening roads, strengthening or replacing bridges and planning for future upgrades.
Victorian Minister for Ports and Freight, Melissa Horne, said, “Our investment in the Barwon South West Dairy Supply Chain will enable these routes to carry heavy vehicles, meaning farmers and suppliers will be able to get their goods to market much more efficiently.”
Member for South Barwon, Darren Cheeseman, said, “This investment will help support local communities and tourists who enjoy our spectacular coastline, making the road safer for residents and visitors alike.”
The new projects build on the Victorian Government’s $53 million package of geotechnical works that started on the Great Ocean Road in 2017 to keep the road accessible by reducing the risk of landslips or rockfalls.