From around the coasts

Coastal council representatives from around the nation met in Geelong last week to attend the annual Australian Coastal Councils Conference.

Victorian Minister for Planning Richard Wynne gave the main address: Great Ocean Road and its Landscapes – Planning and Management.

Other presentations included:

  • A research report into online short-term holiday rental accommodation platforms: The initial report of a planning research project into the impact of online platforms such as Airbnb and Stayz on coastal areas by Professor Nicole Gurran, Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Sydney.  
  • Seven sustainable pathways for our coastal cities and regions: Professor Barbara Norman, Chair of Urban and Regional Planning and Director of Canberra Urban and Regional Futures, University of Canberra. An outline of how current planning approaches in coastal areas can be adapted in the context of a changing climate and an uncertain future.
  • The importance of character and sense of place in coastal settlements:   Professor Ray Green of the Faculty of Architecture, University of Melbourne. Research findings into how coastal residents experience character and place in their local community.

Mr Wynne’s presentation on the Great Ocean Road follows the release of an issues paper by a Victorian Planning Ministry taskforce charged with the job of protecting and enhancing the Great Ocean Road.

Its issues paper Governance of the Great Ocean Road Region identifies proposals for better coordination between the key agencies responsible for the road and the tourist destination.  

The issues paper notes that more than 14 public agencies have responsibilities in the region and calls for the establishment of a lead agency, action to secure funding sources for planning, and a 20 to 25-year strategy covering the entire length of the Great Ocean Road.

The Victorian Government says it will consider the taskforce’s recommendations after the community has had its say. Submissions can be lodged before the end of April. The discussion paper can be viewed here.