Apollo Bay, Victoria - on the Great Ocean Road

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Otway Forum meeting 17th april

The main topics for discussion were

The harbour redevelopment and the planned period of public consultation before the planning scheme amendment can commence.

Otway Forums alternative vision, drafted by landscape architect Graeme Bentley, was presented to the mayor Brian Crook, councillors Stephen and Stuart Hart and CEO Rob Small.

There was general agreement that this was an excellent alternative to the current resort based proposal.

A map was tabled that showed that the resort and new access road  proposal, would result in the loss of up to 3000 sq. metres from the Apollo bay golf course.

A press release, dated 25th June 2010 from the Premier’s office, was tabled. It announced a $6.3million funding grant from the Regional Infrastructure Development Fund, to complete the last section of the Great Ocean Walk. It also noted that a trail head was planned to be built at Apollo Bay.

Funding for Otway Forum’s alternative plan was discussed. It is estimated it would cost the taxpayer $5 million. The resort based redevelopment is estimated to cost the taxpayer $20 million.

The Otway Forum alternative vision has attracted a positive response when presented to local MP Terry Mulder and the head of the Apollo Bay Chamber of Commerce and Fishermans Co-op , Nick Polgeest.

A newsletter due to be released in May by COS was reviewed. It announces that a community drop in information session, will be held on 21st May, at the Krambrook room, for concerned residents to discuss the resort proposal with council planning staff.

Otway Forum’s request to also display its alternative vision would not be allowed as it may “confuse” some residents.

Rob Small also announced that there will be a limited phone survey of Apollo Bay residents to gauge community support for the resort proposal. He also informed the meeting that there will be no opportunity for written submissions before the planning scheme amendment begins.

Councillor Stuart Hart then strongly expressed his frustration that the CEO and council planning staff were ignoring widespread public sentiment that has always opposed the concept of a resort being built at the Apollo Bay harbour precinct.

Otway Forum has collected a petition with over 800 signatures opposing the resort proposal.

The alternative vision can be viewed at its web site www.apollobay.org.au

Peter Fillmore
Secretary Otway Forum