A new proposal to charge grey nomads and other tourists for the privilege of visiting Victoria’s Twelve Apostles is apparently being considered by the state government.
Upper house MP James Purcell has called for a $10 fee to be introduced for motorists heading to the iconic coastal destination. He said it would generate millions of dollars for south-west Victoria and help pay for upgrades to the Great Ocean Road and other regional facilities.
According to a report in the Standard newspaper, State Tourism Minister John Eren has declined to either endorse or oppose the proposal. Opponents say this non-committal response proves the fee plan is under consideration.
A draft master plan released last month by the region’s peak tourism body, Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism (GORRT), also flagged a user-pays or parking fee at the Twelve Apostles site.
“In the short-term, there is an immediate need to fund priority projects that are crucial to sustaining a quality visitor experience at sites such as the Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge,” the plan stated.
The Standard reports that famed overseas coastal attractions such as Land’s End and the White Cliffs of Dover attract parking fees, and there are also entry fees to landmarks such as the Grand Canyon and Stonehenge.
However, many grey nomads already claim a trip along the Great Ocean Road is not high on their agendas due to the high cost of many caravan parks and the limited free camping opportunities.