Coastal news and updates from GORCC

Welcome to Coast News (May 2015)

In this edition:
For more information on GORCC including news and project updates, visit

An endangered Southern Brown Bandicoot is captured on motion-sensing night vision cameras.

Elusive fauna captured on camera

The endangered Southern Brown Bandicoot and rare Rufous Bristlebird have been captured on infrared, motion-sensing cameras in Aireys Inlet.

The cameras, which were recently installed by the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) as part of a new conservation monitoring program, record and identify animal activity in coastal habitats.

The footage was collected within weeks of placing the cameras on coastal restoration sites.

GORCC Education Activity Leader Peter Crowcroft said the sighting of a bandicoot, in particular, was unexpected and exciting.

“We are very fortunate the Southern Brown Bandicoot wandered into the monitoring area.

“We weren’t expecting to have such a good sighting of a bandicoot, especially within the first week.

The footage provides photographic evidence that GORCC's conservation sites are vital to the preservation of important fauna.

“Until now there was no real way to confirm that rare species are living in the revegetated areas along the coast, so this evidence is very encouraging,” Mr Crowcroft said. 

Parl Garrard (GBoards), Nathan Taylor (Go Ride a Wave), Harry (winner) friend Sam (part of the winning photo) with Richard Davies (GORCC CEO).

$1k in prizes for local ‘hoodie’ winner

15 year old Torquay local Harry Breer has won $1000 of prizes in the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) ‘Save the Hoodies’ photo competition.

The ‘Save the Hoodie’ campaign was launched in December 2014 to encourage community action in the protection of vulnerable
Hooded Plovers, with a particular focus on keeping dogs away from breeding zones.

Entrants were asked to help spread the word by taking a photo of themselves with an official ‘Save the Hoodie’ sign and uploading it to social media.

Local businesses Go Ride a Wave and GBoards generously donated the prizes which include surf lessons, a full length wetsuit and a learn to surf surfboard.

Harry photographed his friends with one of the 'Save the Hoodie' campaign signs to enter the draw.

Only 2.5% of Hooded Plover chicks make it to adulthood and there are only around 10 Hooded Plover breeding pairs on the Surf Coast.

GORCC, with support from Bird Life Australia, volunteers the Surf Coast Shire and other partners, has been working to ensure the survival of the precious chicks.

More information on Hooded Plovers and the campaign is available at

The iconic Teddy's Lookout in Queens Park, Lorne has been rebuilt following fire damage.

Rebuilt Lorne lookout open for use

Teddys Lookout in Queens Park, Lorne has been rebuilt and is once again open for use after it was damaged by fire last month.

A fire in April  caused substantial damage to the structure and, in particular, the supporting poles, resulting in the need for the structure to be completely rebuilt.

GORCC CEO Richard Davies said the reconstruction had been actioned as a priority given the importance of this iconic lookout to visitors and locals.

“We are pleased to announce that this popular facility has been restored and is now open for everyone’s enjoyment,” he said.
The facility has been rebuilt to reflect the original structure but with some improvements to access for people with disabilities.

The Fairhaven to Eastern View Draft Master Plan is currently on display and submissions are invited. 

Submission extension for Fairhaven – Eastern View plan

Submissions on the Draft Fairhaven to Eastern View Master Plan are invited, with the consultation period extended until Thursday 28 May 2015.

The draft master plan addresses a number of contiguous reserves along a six kilometre long, narrow stretch of beach and dune, between the shoreline and Great Ocean Road. It identifies key issues and corresponding objectives and actions to address these.

This plan has a five year timeframe (to 2020) and is intended to be reviewed and, if necessary, revised or replaced after that time. The pace of development in the region and the dynamic nature of the coast means review and revision of parts of the plan may be required before then.

All feedback received on this draft master plan will be considered and used to prepare the final master plan.

Ian and Roma Edwards are two local volunteers that have been making a difference for decades.

Australia celebrates helping hands

Local volunteers Ian and Roma Edwards are just two of 6 million volunteers that were celebrated as part National Volunteer week in May.

The couple, who founded local volunteer group Jan Juc Coast Action (JJCA) in 1994, have been working to protect and restore the Jan Juc cliffs since they moved to the town in 1990.

The Edwards began by removing debris and rubbish along the local foreshore and their dedication was recognised by the Victorian government which awarded the couple a $30,000 grant to form the JJCA group and continue their conservation work.

The JJCA’s first major task was to remove the woody weed from the Jan Juc cliffs before revegetation works commenced.

The Edwards are pleased at the progress the JJCA group has made over the past 20 years.  “One of our biggest achievements has been seeing the return of many birds and native animals around the Jan Juc cliffs.

“The indigenous flowers have attracted the rare Rufous Bristlebird back to the area which is very encouraging,” Mr Edwards said.

National Volunteer Week ran from 11 -17 May 2015.  This year the theme of the week was ‘Give Happy, Live Happy’ – promoting the increased happiness of Australians who volunteer and are active in their community.

Pathway works underway at Cosy Corner.

Torquay pathway works

Pathway improvements at Torquay Front Beach are complete, linking public facilities and improving accessibility

The existing lower promenade pathway between Torquay Front Beach and Cosy Corner is highly valued and experiences high use.

The new path will provide a southward extension, linking to public facilities and the existing northern part of the lower promenade.

The proposed path will allow people with disabilities, parents with prams and others to bypass a steep grass verge at the end of Bell Street, making the front beach pathway accessible via Cosy Corner.  It will also link to existing disabled parking.

Learn more about this project.

Peter Miller at work in Lorne.

38 years of service to Lorne celebrated

After 38 years of service, Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) Outdoor Works Leading Hand Peter Miller is hanging up the boots.

Mr Miller started working at GORCC in 1977 when on an extended holiday in the region, landing a role as an outdoor worker for what was then the Lorne Foreshore Committee of Management.

Mr Miller’s position became permanent and he completed an apprenticeship in horticulture whilst working for GORCC.

“Every day there is something fun happening which is why it has been easy to work here for so many years.

“The mateship is fantastic and the staff have become almost family after so many years working together,” Mr Miller said.

GORCC CEO Richard Davies said Mr. Miller’s long history with GORCC and the 38 year investment he had made into the coast was greatly appreciated.

“Pete has been a valued member of our team since before the amalgamation of committees occurred and GORCC was in existence.  

“Both the Committee and myself are very grateful for his hard work and commitment to Lorne and to our organisation,” he said.

Contact us

The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee
Ph. (03) 5220 5055
Fax. (03) 5264 7763
Mail. PO Box 53 (35 Bell Street), Torquay VIC 3228

For more news, stories and updates from the coast, visit our blog here.


Watch your step this winter

As winter approaches, beachgoers are urged to take care, with weather conditions causing temporary, seasonal erosion.

Shoreline erosion is a natural, cyclical process that is intensified by high tides.  The winter weather can cause sand movement resulting in disturbances to paths and acess points as well as the creation of unstable 'sand cliffs'.

GORCC outdoor staff regularly cordon off any areas that pose a risk, however everyone is reminded to keep an eye out for changes to access and avoid walking on or under cliff edges.

More tips for staying safe

Queens Park CP Submissions close

The submission period for providing feedback on the Draft Queens Park Caravan Park ('Nature Based Accomodation') Plan has now closed.

All submissions are currently being compiled and will be summarised into a consultation report, which will be presented to the GORC Committee for consideration.

The feedback recieved will be considered in the development of a final plan.

Learn more about this project.

Beach & trail wheelchairs available

A variety of wheelchairs are now available for free hire thanks to the State Government, Parks Victoria, YMCA and Surf Coast Shire.

The wheelchairs enable people with a disability to access sandy beaches, ocean and trails in the Surf Coast Shire.

View the brochure.

Jan Juc facility construction

Construction has commenced on a new public toilet facility on the foreshore at the Jan Juc Surf Beach.

The existing toilet block was constructed approximately 40 years ago and was in poor repair.

The existing building is being removed and replaced with the new $180,000 facility which is being funded by GORCC.

Learn more about this project.

Taylor Park upgrades

Installation of a new BBQ and construction of a shelter and seating is underway in Taylor Park, Torquay.

The works form part of the ongoing implementation of the Taylor Park Master Plan (2001).  

The siting of the BBQ and shelter offers access for people with disabilities and will have minimal impact while also linking to existing disabled parking.

The area has been cordoned off while the works take place.  It is expected the new facilities will be ready for use by mid to late May 2015.

Whites Beach facility to commence construction

Construction of a new facility at White's Beach is due to commence shortly and is expected to be complete by mid-June 2015.

The project, which will cost approx $90,000, is part of the Torquay Foreshore Master Plan.

The Whites Beach area is a popular destination and visitation is expected to increase following recent upgrades to the adjacent Surf Coast Walk and projected population growth.

Learn more about this project.

Ecological burn in Jan Juc

Jan Juc Coast Action (JJCA) has partnered with the local CFA to conduct an ecological burn as part of a trial to investigate how important grasslands respond to different treatments. Other techniques are also being trialed.

The JJCA group works for the preservation and revegetation of the Jan Juc coastline with Indigenous species and the removal of environmental weeds, erosion control and provision of tracks and lookouts. 

Learn more about JJCA


Lorne disabled access works

Disabled access has been improved in Scotchmans Hill in Lorne recently.  The works saw a concrete pathway constructed from Scotchmans Hill down to the nearby BBQ area. 

The works form part of an ongoing GORCC initiative to improve disabled access in a number of popular coastal locations.

Grants available

If you would like to informed about other available grants, check out Our Community

Our Community is a great resource for community and volunteer groups, offering a monthly Easy Grants newsletter and all sorts of other advice and tools for not-for-profit groups, including training in areas such as grant writing and fundraising. 

The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee is appointed by the Victorian Government to manage 37 kilometres of Crown land foreshore reserves along the Great Ocean Road between Torquay and Lorne. We are a small community-based, not-for-profit organisation comprising 12 voluntary committee members and around 30 staff and we want everyone to love, protect and enjoy our beautiful coast as much as we do!

Our work includes the protection of natural and cultural values along the coast, operation and maintenance of coastal assets, infrastructure and facilities, and the running of caravan parks in Torquay and Lorne. Great Ocean Road Coast News is produced bi-monthly to keep you informed about our work and coastal news and issues in general.

Copyright © 2015 Great Ocean Road Coast Committee, All rights reserved.