Establishing an authoritys coast and parks

Establishing an authority to manage the Great Ocean Road’s coast and parks

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The Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is responsible for creating a liveable, inclusive and sustainable Victoria with thriving natural environments.

A new approach was required to protect one of Australia’s most iconic tourist destinations

The Great Ocean Road is a major Victorian tourism attraction for local and international visitors. With increasing visitation and concerns about protecting and maintaining the natural environment and facilities, the Victorian Government identified an urgent need to take a strategic, whole-of-government and place-based approach to land management in the area. Nous worked with DELWP and a range of stakeholders to design and establish the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority (GORCAPA).

Nous designed the new authority structure and funding model and developed an establishment plan

Guided by our flagship Organisational Architecture Framework (figure 1), Nous developed a proposed organisational design, funding model and transition plan to establish the new authority. We:

  1. consulted with central agencies, local and state government departments and Traditional Owners through interviews, workshops and co-design sessions to develop design, model and transition plan options
  2. examined international and local examples – such as the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority – for guidance and to test ideas
  3. facilitated differing views on the authority’s role, purpose and strategy to agree on design criteria for all elements of the operating model
  4. evaluated options to select the preferred design, funding model and transition plan to deliver on the authority’s remit and purpose.

Figure 1. Nous’ Organisational Architecture Framework

Visual of Nous' Organizational Architecture Framework
Visual of Nous' Organizational Architecture Framework

Implementation will consolidate and improve existing arrangements

Nous developed a transition plan that outlined the sequence, timing and key deliverables for the new authority’s establishment. This included describing how existing entities would be merged and how existing funding mechanisms could be diversified to ensure future upgrades received funding and the new entity remained financially sustainable in the long term.

GORCAPA has been designed with a skills-based board and independent chair to manage the coastal Crown land and marine waters along the Great Ocean Road and is currently undergoing the final stages of implementation.

What you can learn from this project

A whole-of-government response via a dedicated, central authority using place-based management is an effective way to co-ordinate land management.

Engagement with stakeholders that allows genuine input to the strategy, intent and operating model for a new entity is critical to gain buy-in and resolve trade-offs.

Diversifying revenue streams that aligns fees with the value users gain from the natural and built assets will ensure the entity can remain financially sustainable in the long term.