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Riverwalk Bank Stabilisation and clear access underway Nov 2016

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) have negotiated with the Big4 and Otway Coast Committee to undertake some bank stabilisation works which will combine 7 strategies to help ensure an unobstructed walk remains along the southern side of the Wye River bank. The strategies adopted are:

  1. Timber bollards spaced at 3.2m apart, 2,4 metres from the edge of the riverbank
  2. A tree to be planted in-between each bollard along the route
  3. New powerbeads for the camp sites located at 3m from the riverbank
  4. The camp marker posts pushed back to 3m off the riverbank
  5. Marker posts along the route to designate the walk
  6. Maps handed out at park arrival depicting the clear zone
  7. Orange painted line along the grass division in peak periods to delineate separation of campers

Whilst the PA supports improvements to ensuring unobstructed public access along this section of crown land, we feel that a more permanent solution would be for the construction of a low impact small pebble/gravel dust pathway would ensure that campers did not inadvertently set up site and block the public route for walkers and other campers through the park. Therefore we see this initiative as a positive trial over the upcoming 2016/2017 summer season and politely request that any experiences of pathway obstructions being experienced during this period should be reported to the Big4 for immediate rectification and ideally the PA notified via our email wye.seppa@gmail.com so we can so the level of interest to the OCC and DELWP. The following letter has been sent to DELWP highlighting these concerns.


2015 History – Riverwalk Construction Abandoned Oct 2015

The Otway Coast Committee and Wye River Big4 could not reach an amicable agreement over the alignment and composition of the Riverwalk Project which, if completed, would have provided an all weather dedicated route from the playground through to the upper reaches of Wye River along the southern bank through the camping ground within the Crown Land Reserve.

We are extremely disappointed and frustrated that this long awaited project is not going ahead. After more than 2 years of negotiation between the managers of the Big 4 Holiday Park and the Otway Coast Committee and the best efforts of the Colac Otway Shire, DELWP and the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority, agreement on an alignment for the path has not been reached and the $40,000 in funding that was obtained by the Shire for the Walk is being returned to Regional Development Victoria. This is a disaster for our community, whose members will justifiably question the commitment of the principal parties who failed to negotiate an outcome that was clearly in the interests of the community as a whole.

The Progress Association has worked for years to get this project off the ground with a view to improved public access through the Big 4 Park to the beautiful river walk beyond. It beggars belief that a simple alignment of a path along a river bank could not be agreed between the parties in the public interest and when money was available. There has been intransigence on both sides, with agreement tantalisingly close at several times over the last few months, only for more brinkmanship to occur. As a result the project has been unable to be completed within the clearly-defined funding timeframes, and the community is the big loser.

We will continue to agitate for the walk to be clearly delineated consistent with the terms of the lease to the Big 4 so that the community has unobstructed access to the river.

Wye River Shared Pathway_v2

Riverwalk History

Over nearly two decades, members of the Progress Association have wished a pathway along the Crown Land  Wye River Reserve be defined so that locals, visitors and campers to the area can all walk freely through the park to enjoy the river environment without encroaching on camp sites. The Progress Association successfully sought a grant for installing the Riverwalk in the Wye Valley beside the Big4 camping ground through the Colac Otway Shire, who controls the funds.

The Otway Coast Committee is the delegated manager responsible for maintaining  this section of the Wye Valley on behalf of the Crown. The Wye River Big4 leases a section of this Crown Land off the Otway Coast Committee for camping purposes.  An agreement between the Otway Coast Committee and the Big4 has never reached a point of satisfactory compromise so that construction and ultimate project completion could occur before the funding period lapsed in the latter half of 2015.