One of Australia’s best known beach streetscapes will be remodelled with the help of a $500,000 Victorian Government grant announced today by the Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney.
The 1.2 kilometre section of the Great Ocean Road through Lorne – 140 km from Melbourne – will be completely upgraded under a $5.2 million Surf Coast Shire Council project.
A new road, widened footpaths, enlarged outdoor areas, new street lighting and underground placement of power lines are part of a transformation designed to complement the town centre’s private redevelopment in recent years.
“This extensive streetscape redevelopment reflects Lorne’s position as Victoria’s premier coastal tourist town,” Ms Tierney said.
“The town’s increasing popularity and commercial development requires an appropriate investment in streetscape redesign. It will increase the functionality of Lorne whilst delivering tangible benefits including increased business activity, greater long-term commercial viability and increased employment opportunities.
“The revamped streetscape will be visually appealing and showcase the resort’s safe beach, great surf, beautiful foreshore and panoramic ocean views.
”The Brumby Government is pleased to support this investment in regional development and tourism.”
Ms Tierney said further private development was likely to follow the redesign.
She said the project would increase Lorne’s appeal to international and local tourists who bring commercial vitality and help sustain employment to the town’s attractions.
The town’s permanent population of 960 swells to 12,600 in holiday seasons with holiday homes, caravan parks, hotel/motels and bed and breakfasts providing 11,500 beds.
“The project will equip the town centre to better manage this large influx of visitors while better showcasing Lorne’s natural attractions,” Ms Tierney said.
She said Surf Coast Shire had consulted extensively with business and community groups in the town as part of developing the final plan.
Ms Tierney said the project grant followed $356,621 government support through the Small Towns Development Fund – part of the Moving Forward action plan – for the first stage of streetscape redesign before the town hosted the 2006 World Surf Life Saving Championships.
The new grant is being provided under the Living Regions Living Suburbs program which is designed to support initiatives promoting economic and social renewal in rural, regional and suburban communities throughout Victoria.