Great Ocean Road tourist traffic hazards

Mr PURCELL (Western Victoria) (12:41:51) — My question is to Minister Pulford, representing the Minister for Roads and Road Safety. The Twelve Apostles is one of Victoria's major tourist attractions with over 2000 visitors per annum, with a growing number of overseas visitors actually now being self-driven. Many of those drivers expect the trip to be an easy day-return trip from Melbourne and back, but it is not, and by mid-afternoon many of these visitors are desperate to return to Melbourne as quickly as possible, so they turn to Google Maps for the shortest and quickest way back. It is then the danger starts, with them being directed up winding roads that have trees overhanging and often for the first time on dirt tracks. This week we had another fatality on such a road, and I therefore ask the minister: will you erect signs on these roads indicating that they are for local use only and not for tourist traffic?

Ms PULFORD (Minister for Agriculture) (12:42:49) — I thank Mr Purcell for his question and his long-time interest in questions around road safety and the very large international tourist numbers that the Great Ocean Road and in particular the Twelve Apostles attract. So I will take his question on notice for the Minister for Roads and Road Safety, but I cannot help but offer some advice to these travellers as the Minister for Regional Development and partnered with the Minister for Tourism and Major Events in seeking to advance the Shipwreck Coast master plan's next stage and suggest that we would very much like them to stay the night, because it is a long trip and there are wonderful things to be done and enjoyed in the region while there. Really a very big part of our strategy around regional tourism and international visitor numbers is to encourage greater dispersal and more overnight stays. That aside, I will take Mr Purcell's question and seek a formal response from the Minister for Roads and Road Safety.