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Regional Development Victoria

Great South Coast Regional Partnership

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Our region
Our Regional Partnership: bringing you up to date
Our Regional Partnership: latest news
Our Regional Partnership members
Have your say
Our Regional Partnership Priorities
Budget 2018/19 outcomes

Our region

Our region in south-west Victoria extends from the iconic Shipwreck Coast to the South Australian border.

Each year the region attracts thousands of visitors who come to enjoy its spectacular coastline and stunning natural scenery – the Great Ocean Road and the Twelve Apostles are among the world-famous attractions. The region is also home to internationally recognised areas of indigenous significance, including Budj Bim, near Heywood, and Tower Hill, just outside Warrnambool.

As well as a growing tourism industry, the agricultural and fishing sectors underpin local economies, while the region is also home to one of Australia’s premier deep water ports at Portland.

Our region includes:


Map of the Great South Coast partnership region

Our Regional Partnership: bringing you up to date

The Great South Coast Regional Partnership is one of nine Partnerships across the state, established by the Victorian Government, recognising that local communities are in the best position to understand the challenges and opportunities faced by their region.

We started work in 2016 and held our first Regional Assembly in Port Fairy in October 2016.  Following this, we presented the priorities which came from our first Assembly to Government.

Our priorities covered areas including a strong and diverse regional economy with more local jobs; an attractive, safe, vibrant and liveable community; high quality local and regional health services; accessible, quality education and training; better roads and transport and celebrating the region’s renowned environment, culture and iconic landscapes.

The 2017/ 18 Victorian Budget brought outcomes for the Great South Coast region including:

  • $100 million to upgrade the Warrnambool rail line to run more services;
  • Funding to deliver a Food and Fibre Action Plan to advance the agriculture sector in the region;
  • Funding for Beyond the Bell, an educational initiative supporting kids in school and
  • $45 million across regional Victoria for the Connecting Regional Communities Program to support digital initiatives such as broadband trials, digital agricultural applications and blackspot minimisation.

Find out more about the Victorian Budget 2017/18 outcomes for Victoria's regions

We held our second Regional Assembly in Portland in October 2017.

The Partnership has since taken the learnings from our 2017 Assembly and distilled these into priorities to present to Government.

Our 2017 Regional Priorities can be found here.

Partnership newsletter

Great South Coast Regional Partnership newsletter - March 2018

Who are the Great South Coast Regional Partnership members?

Emily Lee-Ack

Emily Lee-Ack – Chair

Emily Lee-Ack is the Executive Officer Women’s Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West and the Chair, Great South Coast Prevention of Violence Against Women Strategy Steering Committee. Emily grew up in rural South West Victoria and spent 12 years in Melbourne before returning to Victoria’s South West in 2006.  She is a passionate advocate for gender equity and on issues affecting women in rural and regional areas.

Felicity Melican

Felicity Melican Deputy Chair

Felicity Melican is a Principal of Sinclair Wilson, Accountants and Business Advisors and a Director of Sinclair Wilson Investment Services, which forms part of a large regionally based financial services group with offices across South West Victoria and South East South Australia.  Felicity leads the Audit and Assurance Division of the firm, and is also involved and has a particular passion for the not-for-profit and charity sectors, both through clients and her own Directorship of a number of philanthropic trusts and foundations. Felicity is also a Director of the South West Institute of TAFE.

Sarah Schmidt

Sarah Schmidt

Sarah Schmidt  is the Director of Hamilton Gallery, one of Australia’s most significant public collections and among Victoria’s key regional galleries.  Sarah is passionate about the communities of the Great South West receiving first class cultural events, programming and facility development, which each help drive cultural economy, general economy and tourism.

Lisa Dwyer

Lisa Dwyer

Lisa Dwyer is a dairy industry leader with extensive experience in the engagement and representation of multiple agribusiness groups. Lisa farms in partnership an 850 acre dairy enterprise - Kangertong Pastoral. She is currently a non-executive director of Dairy Australia and LiveCorp, and a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program.


Wayne Kayler-Thomson

Wayne Kayler-Thomson is the Chairman of Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism, Council member, Deputy Chancellor of Victoria University and Deputy Chairman of Vicsuper. Wayne is the immediate past Chief Executive of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and is a passionate advocate for regional development and the visitor economy.

Stephen Lucas

Stephen Lucas

Stephen Lucas is the Chair of the Warrnambool Regional Airport Advisory Committee and Horizon21. Stephen has a breadth of experience in the transport and emergency services sector having been a president of Bus Association Victoria, a helicopter pilot in the Australian Army and a chair of Westvic Helicopter Rescue Services Inc.

Allan Miller

Allan Miller

Allan Miller is a proud Gunditjmara man who lives in Warrnambool and works on the traditional lands of which he was raised. Allan is Executive Officer of the Barwon South West Regional Aboriginal Advisory Committee and Chair of the Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation. He is a former Chairman of the Gunditjmara Aboriginal Co-operative, the principal Aboriginal health and community service organisation in the Warrnambool district, and a recipient of the Ricci Marks Award – Victorian Young Aboriginal Achievers Award. Allan's passions are community, culture and family. For the past 12 years Allan has strongly advocated for his people, land and culture in south west Victoria.

David Pope

David Pope

David Pope is Operation Manager at Popes Timboon. He is president of the Twelve Apostles Tourism and Business Association and an active member of the Building Stronger Corangamite Communities leadership group. David is passionate about tourism and increasing the role it must play in the diversification of regional economies.

Anita RankRegional Development Australia representative

Cr Anita Rank
Anita Rank holds the position of Mayor for Glenelg Shire as well as Director positions with Portland District Health, Active Health Portland, Leadership Great South Coast, Great Ocean Road Marketing and Chairs the Community Advisory Committee for Portland District Health and is a Life Member of South West Sports. Anita’s interest include running and cycling and is a member of the Portland Runners Club and Portland Triathlon Club. As well as being a member of the Regional Development Australia Barwon South West Committee, Anita is studying a Masters in Politics and Policy at Deakin University.

Victorian Government representative:

Carolyn Gale - Deputy Secretary, Service Strategy Reform - Department of Justice and Regulation

Local government CEOs

Bruce Anson

Bruce Anson – CEO, Warrnambool City Council

Bruce Anson has been the Chief Executive Officer of Warrnambool City Council since 2008 and has extensive committee experience throughout the region, including Chairman of the Regional Development Barwon South West Committee (RDA BSW), member of Regional Cities Victoria Group, Deakin University Warrnambool, the Great South Coast CEO’s Group and the Warrnambool Community Leaders Group.   Bruce has a good understanding of the issues driving coastal cities as well as the challenges facing rural economies.

David Madden

David Madden – CEO, Moyne Shire Council

David Madden is the CEO of Moyne Shire Council.  Prior to his appointment in 2011, David was the Director of Technical Operations for the Golden Plains Shire.  David has worked extensively in local government and has formally held the positions of Deputy Shire Engineer, Chair for Regional Arts Victoria and the Vice President of Regional Arts Australia.

Andrew Mason

Andrew Mason – CEO, Corangamite Shire Council

Andrew Mason is Chief Executive Officer of Corangamite Shire Council.  Prior to his appointment in September 2010, Andrew was Corangamite Shire’s Director Sustainable Development for two years.  Andrew has extensive experience as a planning consultant and has held senior management positions in both the State and local government sectors. Andrew works actively with private and government stakeholders as a member of many external committees. Andrew holds a BA (Planning) and MBA.

Greg Burgoyne

Greg Burgoyne – CEO, Glenelg Shire Council

Greg Burgoyne brings strong financial management expertise to the Glenelg Shire Council in his role as Chief Executive Officer. Greg’s extensive work history includes appointments to Boards and Audit Committees, balanced with well-honed commercial skills.  He has held directorships with a number of Shell Companies, the Australian Tax Office and the NSW Police Force. Greg holds three Masters degrees, in accounting, in business (corporate law) and in professional ethics, as well as a Graduate Diploma in taxation.  He is also a Fellow of the Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants.

Michael Tudball

Michael Tudball – CEO, Southern Grampians Shire Council

Michael commenced as Chief Executive Officer of Southern Grampians Shire Council on 29 March 2016. Michael previously headed up Economic Development & Advocacy at Melton City Council for almost 5 years and also held senior roles in State Government Departments and Statutory Authorities for over 11 years prior. Michael has also held a number of governance positions Government and Non-Government sectors including Statutory Authorities, State Entities and Not-For-Profits and is a Fellow with the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Have your say

Our Great South Coast Regional Partnership engage page is the place to go to let us hear your views or to contact the Partnership.

Great South Coast Regional Partnership 2017 Priorities

Theme Regional Partnership Priority
Strong and diverse regional economy with more local jobs Invest in our future economic strengths by developing our tourism attractions such as Great Ocean Road and Budj Bim, supporting Great South Coast food and fibre sector, as well as attracting people to live in our region and providing industry with energy certainty and security.
Attractive, safe, vibrant and liveable community
Invest in health and well-being of our communities through improving our health facilities and tackling lifestyle diseases, substance use, suicide and family violence.
Accessible, quality education and training Invest in education and skills development of our community to improve education attainment and access to university, vocational training and special development, as well to foster pathways to higher education and employment and provide for a skilled workforce that meets the demands of the future.
Better roads, transport and infrastructure as enablers for prosperity, safety and liveability Invest in enabling physical infrastructure through upgrade of our road and rail networks, public transport and improved economic and digital infrastructure.
Renowned environment, culture and iconic landscapes Invest in our environment and culture through supporting UNESCO World Heritage nomination for Budj Bim and developing our creative industries, arts and culture.

Great South Coast Partnership priorities supported in the Victorian Government Budget 2018/19 include:

  • $40 million to upgrade the Princes Highway from Colac to the South Australian border
  • More than $941 million for better regional roads across the state, including:
    • $333 million for regional road restoration
    • $261 million for road upgrades in regional Victoria
    • $229 million for Continuing Towards Zero, providing safety upgrades to our regional road network
    • $100 million for grants to rural councils to undertake local road remediation projects
    • $17.4 million to establish Regional Roads Victoria
  • $153.2 million for the Geelong City Deal, including funding towards implementation of the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan Stage 2, development of the Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre and the revitalisation of central Geelong.
  • $0.1 million for suicide prevention training for businesses, sporting and community groups to ensure the whole community knows what to do if someone is at risk of suicide.

Click here to download the Great South Coast Regional Partnership 2018/19 Budget Fact Sheet for more information. (PDF 478.4 KB)

Find out more about the Victorian Budget 2018/19 outcomes for Victoria's regions

© Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, State Government of Victoria

Last Updated: 13 June 2018