THE planned redevelopment of the Apollo Bay Harbour precinct has moved to the next stage, with the Colac Otway Shire seeking expressions of interest.
Shire mayor Joe McCracken said EOIs were an opportunity for the private sector to put detailed business proposals to the council and the community for the precinct.
A previous market testing exercise established that, under existing planning controls, there was little interest from the private sector in providing public infrastructure in the harbour precinct.
Any future acceptance of tenders from the private sector would be subject to the preparation of a development plan, which will involve further community consultation.
According to the Apollo Bay Harbour Masterplan, the community has indicated that it wants a publicly accessible aquatic and wellbeing centre, no accommodation or hotels, and public infrastructure such as boardwalks, improvements to car parks, public toilets and interpretive signs.
Cr McCracker said the next step in the process was to develop the EOI documentation and assessment criteria in partnership with the project control group of seven Apollo Bay and district community members.
“Council will appoint experienced consultants to prepare the EOI documentation and act as probity auditors throughout the process.
“Council also needs to seek the state government’s authorisation to proceed with the EOI process.
“Subject to receiving formal support to proceed from state government, the key step after the EOI is shortlisting, and at that point we will decide whether to proceed to the tender stage.”
He said the shire hoped that the EOI process would assist the council to make real steps towards a harbour development of which the town could be proud.
“Apollo Bay and district community members have collaboratively supported the process to date, and we hope this innovative level of community involvement in decision making can continue to make the project a success.”