Tourists and locals alike will be to travel through a safer and more reliable Great Ocean Road, with a $50 million investment on safety upgrades from the Australian and Victorian Governments.
According to Federal Minister for Infrastructure Darren Chester, improving safety along the Great Ocean Road is a major priority.
“Tragically, we have seen six fatalities from the 213 recorded crashes along the Great Ocean Road in the five years to 2016. This is simply unacceptable for one of the country’s great scenic drives, which is why we are investing additional funds above the $25 million already committed by the Australian Government since 2014 to deliver a safer Great Ocean Road,” Mr Chester said.
State Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan said that this jointly funded five-year works package will involve targeted safety improvements including road and bridge strengthening, resurfacing as well as upgraded safety barriers and signage.
“The Great Ocean Road is a Victorian icon drawing more than 7 million visitors each year, that’s why we’re investing in these important upgrades to make sure the road remains safe and accessible for everyone to enjoy,” Mr Donnellan said.
Federal Member for Corangamite Sarah Henderson said that works on the Great Ocean Road will help decrease the need for temporary road closures, maintaining access for residents and visitors to key south-western Victorian locations.
“While beautiful, the Great Ocean Road’s susceptibility to the combines effects of age, wind, climate and coastal air means adequate investment is needed to keep the route open – particularly during peak holiday periods and events such as bushfires and floods,” Ms Henderson said.
According to Victorian Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney, the upgrades will provide a major boost to the local economy.
“This investment will create local jobs, boost tourism in the south west and give communities along the Great Ocean Road more reliable connection,” Ms Tierney said.
Planning for this project is underway and will continue over the coming months. Upgrade works are expected to commence in early 2018 and be completed by mid-2022.