Project overview

We've taken on delivery of the $3.69 million Improvements to Tourism Infrastructure at Kennett River project, funded through the Geelong City Deal.

This project will support the growing tourism and visitor economy by delivering public infrastructure and accessibility improvements through several initiatives.

The tourism improvements will include;

  • A new public toilet and a new or upgraded wastewater treatment plant in the adjoining Kennett River Caravan Park; and
  • Carpark and road improvements works.

The Geelong City Deal is providing $3.19 million, and the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action is contributing $0.5 million via a Visitor Experience Uplift Grant, bringing the total budget to $3.69 million.

This project is being delivered as part of the $500 million 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.

Kennett River is a small coastal hamlet located halfway between Lorne and Apollo Bay. It has become a popular tourist stop to experience Australian wildlife such as koalas and native birds.

The large groups of tourists and tour buses have created pressure on this small community and its infrastructure, including increased traffic and safety issues in the precinct.

In 2020, Colac Otway Shire Council (Council) received funding through the Geelong City Deal to deliver tourism infrastructure improvements in Kennett River. Council prepared a site Masterplan, completed site investigations, designs for road and parking upgrades and for a public toilet and wastewater treatment plant, whilst leading consultation on the project up until mid-2022.

A review into the Geelong City Deal projects located along the Great Ocean Road was conducted in 2022, which paused progress. The review ultimately recommended a transfer of delivery responsibility for the three continuing Geelong City Deal projects to the Authority, aligning to our mission to protect and manage the region’s iconic coast and parks.

This included the highly anticipated $3.69 million Improvements to Tourism Infrastructure at Kennett River project.

We thank and acknowledge Council for their work on the project to date.

  • We reviewed the work completed by Colac Otway Shire Council prior to the project being transferred to the Authority and have identified the next steps to progress this project.
  • From late 2023 we will be checking in with the local community, to discuss the previous work completed by Council. Using community feedback, we will then progress a revised Precinct Plan to guide the delivery of the tourism improvements, ensuring the new facilities fit into the town and respect Kennett River’s unique small-town character and environmental position.
  • Once the revised Precinct Plan has been developed, we will share it with community for comment in 2024.
  • The Precinct Plan and all proposed works must comply with the Marine and Coastal Act 2018 and Policy 2020, including recent guidelines such as the Marine and Coastal Strategy 2022 and Victoria’s Resilient Coast Framework.
  • The Precinct Plan will take in most of the public land in Kennett River. It will include the Kennett River Caravan Park, the Kafe Koala carpark stretching down to the river and a small section of the Great Ocean Road.
  • The Precinct Plan will reduce overdevelopment in the town by sharing caravan park facilities with the public, including the public toilet and wastewater treatment plant. This will also alleviate the issue of these facilities being located in the flood plain and near the Kennett River.

Have Your Say

How you can get involved in the conversation...

Kennett River Family Caravan Park Masterplan

Kennett River Family Caravan Park Masterplan - survey completed!

The Kennett River Family Caravan Park is the perfect place to relax with a book, catch up with friends, holiday with family or explore the local area.

Developing a Masterplan for the Kennett River Family Caravan Park is an exciting opportunity to find out what is loved while improving the user experience for years to come.

We wanted to find out what was important to you prior to delivering a draft master plan for the Caravan Park.

The information collected from the survey is now being reviewed and will be used to inform the designs for the Masterplan, with further opportunities to share information and ideas as the planning process progresses. This Caravan Park Masterplan is being delivered in conjunction with the Kennett River Precinct Plan.

We dropped into the Kennett River Family Caravan Park over Easter to begin the conversation. It was a great day and we thank you for your feedback through the online survey which closed on the 21 April 2024.

Precinct Planning

Since we took on the project in 2023, a few things have changed so our first round of community engagement was focused on finding out more about what you liked and disliked about the previous plan for the project and to provide information about what the future plans for the project will include.

The tourism improvements that we're funded to deliver will include a new public toilet and a new or upgraded wastewater treatment plant in the adjoining Kennett River Caravan Park as well as carpark and road improvements works.

The questionnaire for the first round of engagement closed on Thursday 18 January at 5pm.

Scenarios Workshops and ongoing community feedback

We had so much to talk to the community about!

So we continued the discussion via 3 community workshops. These workshops were delivered both online and face-to-face in Kennett River with 50+ participants taking part. Participants shared their thoughts on 3 draft precinct plan scenarios.

More than 30 community members had their say on the Kennett River Precinct Plan scenarios by submitting their suggestions and feedback below. Online responses were open until Monday 5 February.

We will be returning to Kennett River to discuss what we heard and next steps - watch this space!

These discussions will inform the Improvements to Tourism Infrastructure in Kennett River project, and the Precinct Plan for Kennett River that will include upgrades to the Kennett River Family Caravan Park.

A draft Precinct Plan will be released for community feedback in mid 2024.