'A team of exceptional people'

'All hands on deck' as GORCC battles one of its most challenging times

Daniel Aitken, Great Ocean Road Coast Committee Have your say

THE last 12 months have presented Victoria's Great Ocean Road Coast Committee with "one of the most challenging environments" in which to manage and grow.

"As with many organisations, COVID-19 has presented a very challenging time for our staff, partners and customers, and has materially impacted our financial results," acting chief executive Daniel Aitken (pictured) said.

The committee's newly released annual report revealed that its three caravan parks had accounted for 84 percent of its $13.5m revenue in 2019-20, compared to $14.8m the previous year.

Mr Aitken said the pandemic had required an "all hands on deck" approach to management and leadership and a good deal of trust to feel the way forward in uncertain times.

"Our staff have done an extraordinary job and responded quickly and effectively to the demands of COVID-19, while continuing to deliver our essential services," he said.

The report spoke of a busy summer season, with its Anglesea Family, Torquay Foreshore and Lorne Foreshore caravan parks again reaching capacity.

"It was great to see so many people out enjoying the coast," it said.

From December 22 to January 29, 2020, a total of 55,600 people stayed at its parks.

Torquay Foreshore Caravan Park welcomed 21,900 visitors, with 15,600 being permit-holders.
Anglesea Family Caravan Park enjoyed 9700 casual visitors along with 10,500 permit-holders for a total of 20,200 patrons
Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park saw 13,500 visitors, including 9900 casuals and 3600 permit-holders.

"Our camper activities were a huge hit, with over 10,000 caravan park guests attending activities in all three parks from the end of December through to the end of January 2020," the report said.

"The fan favourites were the multiple film nights, WildlifeXposure's native animal shows and our education team-led Rockpool Rambles.

"We're very proud of our caravan park staff and commercial team for helping to deliver these impressive numbers and create great camping experiences for our guests."

The report said all its parks were forced to close their doors on March 23 because of the pandemic.

"The park teams made the most of the quiet, empty parks by working to ensure that the parks were in tip-top condition for when guests could return," it said.

"Amenity blocks and cabins received deep cleans and grassy areas had a well-earned break, benefiting from being vacant for an extended period.

"It was great to have staff collaborate and share roles across our three sites.

"Our parks were very happy to welcome campers back on the 1st of June 2020."

On December 1, the committee will amalgamate with the Otway Coast Committee to become the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority.

"As an organisation we have navigated this period of uncertainty with strength and we will pass on a significant legacy to the new authority," Great Ocean Road Coast Committee chairman Ken Northwood said.

"We demonstrate this through a team of exceptional people, an adaptive model of environmental management and a disciplined approach to commercial and financial operations."


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