Next Steps for Tourism Infrastructure Upgrades at Kennett River

Published on 15 April 2024


Tourism infrastructure improvements at Kennett River are one step closer, thanks to extensive community engagement efforts, paving the way for the establishment of a Community Reference Group (CRG) for the project.

Kennett River's charm as a wildlife-spotting destination along the iconic Great Ocean Road has led to a significant increase in daily traffic, including tourist buses of various sizes. This surge in visitation has presented challenges for the hamlet, which currently lacks the necessary infrastructure to adequately accommodate the influx of visitors.

Recognising the need for sustainable development, the Improvements to Tourism Infrastructure at Kennett River project aims to address these challenges head-on.

Since late 2023 and into early 2024, the engagement initiatives have been diverse, ranging from community barbecues to online questionnaires and interactive workshops, both in person and online.

This collaborative approach has allowed Kennett River locals, visitors and campers to voice their opinions, ideas and concerns, providing invaluable insights to inform the next steps of the project.

We received 40 online survey responses, 34 additional pieces of online feedback to the proposed scenarios and over 70 people registered for the scenario workshops.

In summary, the feedback highlighted the following themes: 

  • Congestion, traffic, buses, and pedestrian safety
  • Development of an appropriate visitation strategy
  • Bus access, licensing, and parking restrictions
  • Further sharing of project information (i.e. technical assessments.)
  • Opportunities for greater community involvement
  • Environmental considerations and respect for local wildlife

We look forward to continuing these conversations as we work towards the draft Precinct Plan.

Next steps  

Kennett River locals are invited to join a new CRG for the project. Expressions of Interest for the new CRG are now open via the Authority’s Have Your Say website and close at 5pm on Wednesday the 1st of May.

All are welcome to participate in shaping the future of Kennett River.

This project is being delivered as part of the Geelong City Deal, a collaborative partnership to transform Geelong and the Great Ocean Road by the Australian Government and Victorian Government, and local council with the Authority and key partners.

Quotes attributable to Director Infrastructure and Planning Cath Olive:

"We are thrilled to see such strong community involvement in shaping the future of Kennett River.”

“The wealth of knowledge, ideas and history shared during the two-month engagement period has been incredibly valuable.”

“We’ve really enjoyed collaborating locally and are excited to maintain this momentum as we work together to bring this project to life."