Apollo Bay Harbour

Apollo Bay Harbour Redevelopment

What is happening at the Apollo Bay Harbour?

The history of the Apollo Bay Harbour precinct is significant. Redevelopment of the harbour, to provide improved boating and recreational facilities for residents and visitors while protecting the heritage landscape and improving public realm assets that make the harbour attractive, has been a long term goal for Council and the community.

Council has for many years sought to develop a strategic plan to facilitate the redevelopment of the Apollo Bay Harbour precinct.

Council endorsed a proposed EOI and tender process at its 13 December 2017 Ordinary Council meeting for the proposed redevelopment of the harbour precinct. The purpose of the EOI process is to invite private sector proposals for the harbour precinct including the preparation of a Development Plan needed to guide future development in the harbour under the Special Use Zone.

Council officers have had cause to rethink the steps required to achieve successful private sector interest in the harbour given preliminary advice which has raised concerns regarding the potential to attract private sector investment given:

  • technical uncertainties (i.e. lack of technical information/information gaps);
  • lack of certainty regarding government funding to implement complementary public infrastructure improvements;
  • poor understanding of the provisions of the Special Use Zone; and
  • potential private sector financial returns that don’t justify committing capital to facilities the private sector would use.

It is now proposed to bring forward the preparation of a Development Plan prior to undertaking the EOI and tender process as this is more likely to be attractive to both private investors and government to secure the investment needed in the harbour. It would involve the complementary preparation of a Business Case that assesses the various options for development of the harbour precinct, their viability, and economic return based on leasing/development scenarios.  The Business Case would be prepared in close partnership with the Development Plan to ensure they integrate, and that the ultimate plan reflects the position which has best chance of being economically successful and gaining Government funding support.

What is a Development Plan?
A Development Plan is a planning tool that ensures that the development of a large parcel of land or an area is well-coordinated to ensure orderly development outcome and the strategic goals of the area.

It shows how a place should look and operate into the future and sets down a list of steps and requirements on how to get there.  It can consider such diverse matters as traffic and pedestrian movement, building design, commercial needs, environmental hazards, sustainability issues and landscaping to produce a plan that meets the current and future needs of the community.  A Development Plan ensures that all issues, concerns and opportunities are considered together before any redevelopment occurs, so that both the big picture and detail is established early on in the process and new development will work to achieve this vision. 
Why is a Development Plan required?
The Apollo Bay Harbour Development Plan is required in order to allow for the redevelopment of the Apollo Bay Harbour precinct. Without an approved Development Plan, Council cannot consider any significant development proposals within the precinct.
How will the Apollo Bay Harbour Development Plan be used?

The Apollo Bay Harbour Development Plan will be used as a decision making tool by Council to ensure that future development in the precinct occurs in a form that is agreed upon and consistent with the Colac Otway Planning Scheme.  The Planning Scheme states what land is covered by the Plan, what is important in the area, what are the key issues, what uses are allowed or prohibited and what outcomes the Development Plan is seeking – in other words how will the place look and feel and what and where activities will happen into the future.
What will the Apollo Bay Harbour Development Plan look like?
The Apollo Bay Harbour Development Plan will include maps to show what will occur at the precinct and plans to show how new buildings (height, setbacks, materials etc.) and landscaping will look and how pedestrians and vehicles will move around the site.  It will reveal how the commercial and recreational  areas within the precinct, where public facilities such as toilets, landscaping, picnic areas and car parks will be located and how the precinct will connect to and complement surrounding streets, parks, beaches as well as the Apollo Bay town center. 
The Development Plan will consider the needs of all parties, including the local community, business interests and the environment, as well as State and Local policies.  It will ensure the precinct is sustainably developed and managed so that it caters for the future needs of the Apollo Bay community and visitors.

What is the process for Creating the New Development Plan?

The basic steps in developing a new Development Plan are as follows:




Collate technical documentation, gap analysis to address any information gaps:

  • Geotechnical;
  • Flora/fauna;
  • Cultural heritage, including any native title implications;
  • Traffic and parking;
  • Infrastructure capacity (e.g. sewer capacity, electricity etc.);
  • Land contamination;
  • Land and design requirements for depot/port manager;
  • Golf course implications;
  • Private sector commercial analysis; and
  • Dredging and reclamation

(Preliminary or full technical documentation)


Engage consultant (with urban design/place-making skills) to prepare a draft development plan, potentially including ‘wire-frame’ building envelopes – heights and footprint etc.

Develop business case:

  • Assess options and recommend most viable
  • Present case for government investment
  • Review land tenure options

Community engagement



Finalise a draft Development Plan

Option to sub-stage development plan to allow Fishing Co-op* to develop earlier:

  • Approve concept development plan as Stage 1
  • Co-op lodges permit application

* Note: Fishing Co-op is not part of the EOI process


Council / State / Federal government commit financial investment


EOI based on preferred plan from business case


Appoint preferred candidate


Develop final development plan and endorse


Finalise tenure and lease terms


Request for Tender – Final proposal


Planning permits, Coastal Management Consents etc.

Project Control Group

What is the Purpose of the Apollo Bay Harbour Precinct Redevelopment Project Control Group?

The purpose of the Project Control Group (PCG) is to:

  • Provide input into the preparation of a draft Development Plan for Special Use Zone (SUZ2).
  • Design the Expression of Interest (EOI) content and process for the preparation of a Development Plan at the Harbour.
  • Develop the process for targeted consultation with community and stakeholders.
  • Assess market responses to the Expression of Interest (EOI) process, and develop options and recommendations to Council.

How will the Project Control Group be governed?
The Project Control Group will be governed by a Terms of Reference (TOR).
The TOR for the Project Control group can be downloaded here(PDF, 112KB)

When will the Project Control Group meet?
The PCG will meet monthly, or at a frequency required to support the effective management of the project, and will alternate between Colac Otway Shire offices in Colac and Apollo Bay.

Who is on the Project Control Goup?

Membership will reflect key stakeholder interest in the redevelopment of the Apollo Bay Harbour and include:

  • Mayor – Colac Otway Shire
  • General Manager – Development and Community Services – Colac Otway Shire
  • Manager Planning Building and Health – Colac Otway Shire
  • Manager Services and Operations – Colac Otway Shire
  • Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR)
  • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)
  • Regional Development Victoria (RDV)
  • Transport for Victoria
  • Three (3) to nine(9) community representatives from the Apollo Bay Community

Other community stakeholders can be invited to attend meetings on an as needed basis.

The PCG will be provided secretariat support by Council’s Coordinator Strategic Planning and Major Projects.

The following community representatives are currently appointed to the PCG:

  • Andrew Buchanan
  • Andrew Orchard
  • Tim Cobb
  • Peter Fillmore
  • Jane Gross
  • John Riches
  • John Verey

How can I participate in the Project?

There will be opportunities for the general community to participate in the Project during the development of the Development Plan. The PCG will develop a process for targeted consultation with the community and stakeholders.

Information about future events will be posted here.

Who do I contact for more information?
The Strategic Planning Department at Colac Otway Shire will be happy to assist you with any enquiries.

You may contact the Strategic Planning Unit on 03 5235 9400 or inq@colacotway.vic.gov.au

Summary of Meeting Outcomes

Apollo Bay Harbour Expression of Interest Process – Project Control Group

Summary of meeting outcomes – 25 September 2018

  • Council provided an update of its advocacy strategies to secure funding for harbour infrastructure improvements. At the time of the meeting, outcomes were unknown, but Council was hopeful that the supportive feedback would lead to success.

  • The pending announcement by Government on the Great Ocean Road Task Force regarding the Great Ocean Road Authority was noted.

  • Council provided an update on the status and review of background documents for the Harbour Development Plan, including a Gap Analysis to show what additional work is still required to advance the Development Plan for the Harbour.

  • Council noted that there are a number of projects running concurrently at Apollo Bay with a chance for agencies to collaborate and consult with the community together. The background to the proposed Community Infrastructure Plan for Apollo Bay, Skenes Creek and Marengo was presented. Generally, the Community Infrastructure Plan was seen as a positive move to co-ordinate projects. However, some concerns were expressed regarding:

    • The need to ensure that the Community Infrastructure Plan does not stop, or delay projects that are ready to be advanced;

    • The need to ensure that each project remains focussed, and is not lost in the overall bigger picture (in particular the Apollo Bay Harbour component).

  • The Community Infrastructure Plan and its associated Governance Model were presented to the PCG for feedback. The PCG was advised that it was proposed to tender the Community Infrastructure Plan prior to the end of 2018.

  • Council provided an update on the recent and on-going harbour infrastructure improvements.

  • An all-round thank you was provided from the PCG to Gareth Smith for his efforts in guiding progress at the harbour during his tenure as General Manager Community and Development Services.

Summary of meeting outcomes – 26 July 2018

  • Council tabled a draft revision of the Expression of Interest (EOI) Process explaining that through further investigation with specialist EOI consultants and government agencies, concerns have been raised that the current process is likely to result in limited interest in private investment at the Harbour.  PCG feedback was sought on a proposed revised EOI Process (and its benefits and disadvantages) to take back to Council for its endorsement.

  • The draft revised EOI process is aimed at reducing the number of technical uncertainties / variables including:

    • Lack of base information on technical issues which might have implications for cost/viability associated with private investment.

    • Lack of certainty and understanding regarding planning outcomes in the Special Use Zone, and potential scope for new building height/footprint.

    • Lack of certainty regarding siting/layout of public infrastructure improvements, and funding for that from different levels of Government.

  • It was noted that the alternative approach would involve consolidating knowledge on technical work undertaken and engagement of discrete items to fill gaps, engaging a consultant to prepare a draft Development Plan, developing a Business Case assessing various Development Plan options (and making the case for Government/private sector investment), leading to commitment of public infrastructure funds, followed by an EOI & tender process.

  • Council advised that the PCG Terms of Reference require amendment if the existing PCG was to continue to reflect the new PCG work on the Development Plan. There was consensus that the current membership was working well and a willingness to continue to contribute further if Council includes the Development Plan under this PCG’s remit. Regional Development Victoria confirmed their intent to attend future meetings and take an active role. Transport for Victoria was suggested as an addition to the PCG, which was supported.

  • It was noted that Council is continuing proactively with its advocacy strategy to secure harbor infrastructure improvements.

Summary of meeting outcomes - 26 March 2018

  • The PCG noted the Mayor Cr McCracken as Councillor’s new representative which is consistent with the terms of reference. The Mayor’s membership reflects the importance Council places on the Harbour and this PCG. The PCG supported Cr Potter being invited to continue attendance as an observer to maintain continuity in addition to the Mayors membership.

  • The Mayor informed the PCG Council has endorsed a series of Priority Projects which includes the Apollo Bay Harbour.

  • Council invited feedback on two draft advocacy documents relating to; 1) Urgent Port operational and enhancement needs and 2) Harbour Precinct redevelopment. The documents provide the history of the port, key issues and opportunities and include a table works with cost estimates. The PCG offered feedback and were provided additional time to further consider. The feedback will be considered along with agency and stakeholder feedback. The documents will be used to advocate for funding from State and Federal Governments. They do not form part of the EOI process which targets private sector investment.

  • Council provided an update on the EOI and Tender processes. DELWP has advised Ministerial approval is not required for Council to commence the EOI however Ministerial in principle approval may be required at the tender stage. Council will now prepare the required documentation for the EOI and Tender which will include external expertise. The PCG will be reconvened to have input into the assessment criteria that would be used in the EOI and Tender processes. The PCG feedback on the draft criteria will be provided to Council as part of their consideration of endorsing the criteria prior to commencing the EOI and Tender processes.

  • Council provided an update on Port operational matters including urgent upgrades which are being progressed.

Summary of meeting outcomes – 24 November 2017

  • The PCG noted the community feedback from the two Market Testing community information sessions held on Thursday 5th October and Saturday 7th October. The PCG agreed that dredging of the harbour is an urgent priority due to the build-up of sand which is threatening use within the harbour. The PCG would like Council to further pursue this and asked that it be raised through the appropriate channels. The PCG also recommended the community feedback be provided to Council’s Apollo Bay Harbour User Group.
  • The PCG considered and supported the draft Expression of Interest (EOI) process and time frames presented at the meeting, with suggested minor changes. An amended version is to be circulated to the PCG, and will be presented to Council at the 13 December 2017 Council meeting for endorsement.
  • It was noted that Council is developing a smaller interagency working group to manage the EOI process, and that this is necessary to ensure probity of confidential documentation through the EOI and tender processes.  Council officers will seek advice from a Probity Auditor to be appointed for the project about whether it is appropriate for a community representative to be included on the group.

  • The PCG agreed it was important to agree on the criteria for assessment of EOI and tender proposals, and that this would occur after appointment of a suitable consultant to develop the EOI documentation.

  • It was confirmed that Council would most likely lead the preparation of a Development Plan for the harbour once a preferred tenderer was known, and that this would need to be separately funded.  The current resource allocation is for the EOI and tender process.

  • Council is developing a list of public works required within the precinct to inform future advocacy programs. Information is being obtained from previous master planning processes and Council’s Business Plan for the harbour.

  • Council confirmed the three year business plan for the harbour operations details potential capital improvements for 2017-18. Included for 2017-18 and relevant to this PCG are:

    • Replace steps from Fishing Co-op to the Mothers Beach car park

    • Feasibility and design of boat ramp renewal works

    • Feasibility and design of sealing of boat ramp car park

    • Installation of the fish gantry.

Summary of meeting outcomes - 28 September 2017

  • Council at the 23 August 2017 Ordinary Meeting supported the resolution which noted the Markets Testing Reporting, and accepted the PCG’s recommendation to Council relating to the next steps.
  • The PCG agreed to supporting Council in hosting two Community Information Sessions to be held at the Apollo Bay Surf Life Saving Club on:

Thursday 5th October 3.00pm to 6.00pm

Saturday 7th October 10.00am to 1.00pm

  • The PCG noted the process Council is investigating to progress development of the Harbour Precinct with key stages including:

Design an appropriate EOI process based Market Testing results

Seek Council and Ministerial endorsement of an EOI process

Undertake an EOI process and seek Council approval of preferred organisations to participate in the tender process

Undertake tender process

Council endorse a preferred tenderer

Council in partnership with the preferred tenderer produce a Development Plan in consultation with the community, to guide Precinct development.

  • In parallel with the EOI and tender process, Council will also develop and implement an advocacy strategy to secure government investment to upgrade the public infrastructure.
  • The proposed process will continue to be investigated and further considered by the PCG in November prior to presenting to Council.

Summary of meeting outcomes - 7 August 2017

  • The Project Control Group (PCG) members signed a revised confidentiality agreement.
  • The PCG finalised comments on a draft market testing report and recommended the report to Council. It’s proposed to present the report to an Ordinary Council meeting on 23 August 2017.
  • Council officers are researching expression of interest processes used in similar circumstances to Apollo Bay Harbour project requirements. This will inform future expression of interest process design.
  • The PCG supported Council officers’ proposal to host two community information sessions to discuss the market testing findings. The information session are scheduled for late September 2017.
  • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) are currently reviewing their Crown land leasing policy which should be available October/November 2017.

Summary of meeting outcomes - 30 June 2017

  • The Project Control Group (PCG) discussed the confidentiality agreement template and agreed to minor amendments prior to all PCG members signing. It was acknowledged there will be limited confidential matters.
  • Council to publish meeting summary notes in a timely manner and be provided to the PCG to assist with consistency and accuracy of messaging. It was noted there was incorrect information published in the Apollo Bay News Sheet by a PCG member.
  • Essential Economics presented the draft recommendations to the PCG for inclusion in the final Market Testing report. The PCG agreed to amend the draft recommendation. Council will work with Essential Economics to finalise the draft Apollo Bay Harbour Marketing Testing report and recommendations.
  • Council will investigate other similar scale expressions of interest process with State Government to inform the design of the process and confirm likely cost.
  • The next PCG meeting will be in approximately 3-4 weeks to finalise the report and recommendation before going to Council.
  • Council and the PCG propose to present the Market Testing report to the 23 August 2017 Ordinary Council meeting. The report will then be available to the community.

Summary of meeting outcomes – 29 May 2017

  • The Project Control Group (PCG) noted Council endorsed the PCGs terms of reference at the Ordinary Council meeting held on 24 May 2017 which included extension of the PCG’s tenure until 30 June 2019.
  • The PCG also welcomed Council’s endorsement of the PCG’s recommendation to appointment a new member, Mr Andrew Orchard, to the PCG bringing important local fishing knowledge to the Group.
  • Essential Economics briefed the PCG on Market Testing process which involved interviewing 11 potential developers and investors. The PCG provided feedback on the draft Market testing discussion paper. Essential Economics will now finalize interviews and provide a draft report to the PCG which will include recommendations for the next stage based on the Market testing results.
  • The PCG agreed to meet again in 2 to 4 weeks to provide final feedback on the draft Market Testing report which will include draft recommendations from Essential Economics.
  • The PCG discussed the importance of appropriately managing confidential information

Summary of meeting outcomes - 3 April 2017

  • The PCG supported the draft Prospectus presented by Essential Economics, subject to several minor suggested changes. The prospectus will be used as part of engaging with targeted potential investors and developers. Essential Economics will finalise the Prospectus.
  • Essential Economics presented a draft Investor interview guide to the PCG which was supported without change. The guide forms the basis of the meeting with potential investors and developers.
  • Essential Economics presented a potential list of prospective investors and developers to approach to participate in the Market Testing process. The PCG supported the list and provided  several others for consideration by Essential Economics to be included in 15 to be interviewed.
  • The timelines for completing the Market Testing process were supported which will see a draft report presented to a late May PCG meeting.
  • All PCG members confirmed their willingness to continue on the PCG, subject to Council support. The PCG also considered potential nominees with fishing knowledge. The PCG resolved to recommend one nominee to Council for consideration.

Summary of meeting outcomes - 6 March 2017

  • Essential Economics, Council appointed consultants to conduct the Market Testing process, met the PCG and toured the Harbour precinct discussing issues and opportunities to be considered in the Market Testing process. The tour was followed by a PCG meeting providing the PCG an opportunity to brief the consultants on the site history and community expectations for the site.
  • Essential Economics discussed the proposed Market Testing process methodology and sought PCG feedback. The PCG was supportive of the proposed process.
  • The PCG provided Essential Economics initial suggested potential developers and investors that they should consider in the Market Testing process.
  • The PCG supported there was no significant change required to their ToR and reiterated the need to consider fishing representation and knowledge on the PCG. Council invited suggestions from the PCG and will seek suggestions from the Fishing Cooperative noting members of the Coop will have potential conflict of interest by participating on the PCG.

Summary of meeting outcomes - 23 January 2017

  • The PCG resolved to support Council’s Tender Assessment Panel recommendation of a preferred consultancy  to conduct the Market Testing process.
  • Subject to approval of the consultant’s appointment by Council on 22 February 2017, an inception meeting with the PCG and the successful consultant will be held in early March. This will include an inspection of the Apollo Bay Harbour with PCG members followed by a PCG inception meeting with the consultants.
  • The PCG considered the timeframes for the project presented by Council and noted the variability of timeframe dependent on each key milestone outcome. The project plan will be updated by Council and made available to the PCG.
  • The Council endorsed PCG terms of reference (ToR) require a review 12 months after their appointment which is due in April 2017. Members of the PCG agreed to review the ToR and discuss at the next meeting. The PCG feedback on the ToR will be presented to Council. The PCG also recommended further consideration of increasing representation from the fishing sector.

Summary of the meeting outcome - 29 August 2016

  • A written communication protocol was agreed for the conduct of meetings.
  • A summary of all meetings will be provided within a week following to:
  • Project Control Group members
  • Apollo Bay News
  • Colac Otway Shire website http://www.colacotway.vic.gov.au/Planning-building/Strategic-planning/Strategic-projects/Summary-of-Apollo-Bay-Harbour-PCG-meeting-outcomes  
  • A project brief is being developed to undertake market testing of options for Apollo Bay Harbour, as resolved by Council at its meeting on 24 August2016.  
  • The Project Control Group will provide input into the process through:
  • Development of draft aims and objectives of the brief (completed)
  • The draft project brief will be distributed to ABHPCG members two weeks after the August meeting for comment and input.
  • Members’ comments will be discussed at a meeting to be held in late September.
  • Officers of the Shire and representatives from the State Government departments will manage the distribution of the brief and procurement of consultants to undertake market testing.
  • De-identified summary of consultant submissions will be presented the Project Control Group for discussion and input in November
  • Final report with recommended consultant and including Project Control Group input will be presented to Council for selection in December.

 Summary meeting outcomes- 25 July 2016

  • Communication protocol will be amended as per the agreed changes discussed at the meeting and will be circulated to PCG prior to the next meeting
  • Council will send the summary of the meeting outcomes within a week to PCG, Apollo Bay News and community web page
  • Agreed changes will be made to the draft aims and objectives of the consultant brief for the market testing to highlight all matters in the objectives equally (subject to Council’s approval for undertaking the market testing).

Summary of the meeting outcome - 27 June 2016

  • PCG agrees and supports the market testing exercise as the way forward for the project.
  • PCG agrees to seek Council’s approval for undertaking the market testing.
  • A report is to be submitted to the August Council meeting seeking Council’s approval for undertaking the market testing.
  • It was agreed to develop a consultant brief for engaging consultants to undertake the market testing.  The draft brief will be discussed at the next PCG meeting, and
  • It was agreed a Communications Plan should be developed for PCG members.  A draft communication plan will be prepared by Council for discussion at the next PCG meeting.