28th Jan. 2014 - New Works Completed, The Importance of Camping Grounds, The Apollo Bay Foreshore, The Year Ahead
New Works Completed
Over the last 12 months the OCC has completed a number of major projects at the two Coastal Camping Grounds it manages directly.
At the Apollo Bay Recreation Reserve in early 2013 a major renovation of the Club change rooms resulted in new netballer, umpire, and home and away team facilities. These facilities also double as a 4th amenities block for campers over the peak periods. Total project cost $142,000 with funding input coming from the State Government, Colac Otway Shire and the user clubs.
Also at the Recreation Reserve a new BBQ facility was built adjacent to the tennis courts at a cost of $44,000. Again funding assistance was received from the State Government.
At the Wye River Foreshore Camping Ground two major projects focused much of the OCC's time in the lead up to summer: the building of a new Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) and the installation of 3 portable building modules that have provided new toilets, showers, disabled, family and laundry facilities for the campers at Wye River. Final total works cost is expected to be just over $500,000. The OCC was fortunate to receive just over $50,000 from the State government toward the cost of the STP.
The Importance of Camping Grounds
The OCC is essentially financially independent. Apart from an annual grant from the Shire to offset part of the cost of public toilets, 90% of the OCC's $1.2 million annual turnover comes from campers and other foreshore users. To ensure we have happy campers we need to continually improve and maintain camp ground facilities; this in turn translates into more funds for managing the rest of the foreshore reserves.
The Apollo Bay Foreshore
Due to issues beyond the OCC's control work on the Wye River Camping Ground limited our ability to do much needed work on the foreshore area between Wild Dog Creek and Tuxion Rd in the lead up to summer. In the last two weeks we have set about improving this area and expect to carry out extensive weed reduction work and path maintenance works in the coming weeks.
Further repairs to the Coastal Path will be carried out and where possible funding sought from the State Government to address the serious erosion that has occurred in recent years, erosion that in places really limits the rebuilding of the path with any confidence.
Weed management along our entire coast is an ongoing, never ending effort and the OCC spend many thousands each year on their control. We also enjoy great assistance from volunteer groups, primarily the SOLN 'Townies' who regularly work on our foreshore. Their efforts produce real results and greatly reduce the use of chemicals on our foreshore.
The Year Ahead
In 2013 the OCC had its primary strategic planning document approved by the Minister for Environment and Climate Change. This year we have started applying for funds to complete the high priority actions - Foreshore Master Plans for the our 6 coastal settlements: Separation Creek, Wye River, Kennett River, Skenes Creek, Apollo Bay & Marengo. These plans are necessary for the OCC to gain government approval and funding for any developments they propose.
The success of these plans is entirely dependent on broad community input.
The OCC expects to provide ample opportunity to all sectors of our community to have input into how our foreshores should look in the years to come.
We look forward to everyone having their say.
Gary McPike: Executive Officer, 0419 301 311