New era for a Great Ocean Road icon

Published on 14 June 2022

The top of the Cape Otway Lighthouse framed with blue sky.

The Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority (the Authority) is finalising a lease agreement to operate the iconic Cape Otway Lightstation from 1 July this year.

The Lightstation, built in 1848 and situated on land currently managed by Parks Victoria as part of the Great Otway National Park, is Australia’s oldest working lighthouse and has long been a popular Great Ocean Road destination.

The current operator’s lease with Parks Victoria ends on 30 June 2022. The new lease agreement, which will see the Authority run the precinct from 1 July, will secure local jobs and ensure the Lightstation continues to operate as a significant natural, cultural and visitor destination.

Both organisations paid tribute to the hard work of current leaseholders Tourism Great Ocean Road, who have held the lease since the 1990s and played a significant role in making the Lightstation a world-class tourist attraction.

Parks Victoria and the Authority will continue to work with the current operator to ensure the handover of the lease occurs with minimal disruption to the Lightstation, staff and visitors.

In preparation for the transition to the new lease, the Lightstation will closed from the 15 June while essential works are undertaken, and is expected to reopen by late July.

With the new lease agreement now being  finalised, work continues on transferring the management of the Great Otway Lightstation Precinct from Parks Victoria to the Authority.

The precinct is one of 931 parcels of land to be transferred to the Authority over the next three years - a fundamental part of our role to protect and manage the Great Ocean Road coast and parks.

The transfer of the Lightstation precinct is expected to be finalised in 2024, and the Authority is working closely with stakeholders, particularly the Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation (EMAC), throughout this process.

EMAC, the Registered Aboriginal Party for the area encompassing the Lightstation precinct, has a registered native title claim and is currently negotiating a comprehensive Traditional Owner settlement agreement with the Victorian Government over this area.

We are working with EMAC to ensure that Eastern Maar aspirations for the precinct can be achieved.

Quotes attributable to Jodie Sizer , CEO – Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority

“The Cape Otway Lightstation is integral to the Great Ocean Road’s status as a national and international destination of choice."

“We are committed to maintaining and enhancing this icon, and preserving the area’s natural and cultural values in partnership with the local community, business and the Traditional Owners, Eastern Maar.”

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