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Regional Development Victoria

Great South Coast Regional Partnership

Map of the Great South Coast partnership region Great South Coast Regional Partnerships Logo

The Great South Coast Regional Partnership in south-western Victoria extends from the iconic Shipwreck Coast to the South Australian border.

Strong agricultural and fishing sectors, alongside a growing tourism industry, underpin local economies.  Around 33,000 residents call Warrnambool home, making it the region’s largest centre.

Each year, the Great South Coast 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, and Moyjil at Point Ritchie.

One of Australia’s premier deep water ports is located at Portland, with the Partnership area also boasting an established rail network and several commercial airports. The region also has a growing sustainable energy sector and food processing capabilities.

Implementing the Shipwreck Coast Master plan to protect the coast, increase visitor numbers and contribute to the local economy, as well as improving opportunities for disadvantaged communities and education outcomes and are likely to be tacked by the Great South Coast Regional Partnership.

Local Government Areas:

Email the Great South Coast Regional Partnership

Great South Coast Food and Fibre Plan officially launched

2017/18 Victorian Budget outcomes for Great South Coast

State-wide Budget Investments benefiting regions:

Regional Victoria will share in a range of significant state-wide investments that address a range of Regional Partnership priorities including:

  • $29 million for priority initiatives by the Partnerships, as well as funding to enable more comprehensive engagement in each region and to undertake further development of regional priorities.
  • $45 million to the Connecting Regional Communities Program to support digital initiatives such as broadband trials, digital agricultural applications and blackspot minimisation.
  • $1.45 billion for upgrades to regional rail infrastructure across the state.
  • 25% reduction in the payroll tax rate for regional businesses – expected to benefit 4,000 businesses.    
  • $50 million to double the First Home Owner Grant to $20 000 for new homes in regional areas.
  • $1.7 million to re-establish the Victorian Rural Women’s Network (RWN) to promote women’s economic participation and professional development.

Great South Coast Regional Partnership highlights include:

  • $100 million to upgrade the Warrnambool rail line to run more services.
  • Commitment to upgrade the Henty Highway - Green Triangle
  • Funding to deliver a Food and Fibre Action Plan to advance the food and fibre sector in the region.

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

Regional Assembly snapshot

Great South Coast Regional Partnership held their first ever Regional Assembly on Thursday 6 October. The evening was a great success with community members from all across the region taking part in shaping the future of the beautiful Great South Coast.


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.

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 and Adjunct Professor of Victoria University, Director of Vicsuper, and Deputy Chairman of the Victoria Tourism Industry Council. 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.

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.

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.

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.


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

Last Updated: 13 December 2017