It’s world famous, but parts of Victoria’s iconic Great Ocean Road are at risk of simply washing away.
Erosion is beginning to take its toll as the ocean eats into the historic coast drive, which is visited by more than five million tourists a year.
New studies are warning the heritage listed road is at risk and parts of it could be gone within five years.
“If we get another big storm, half the road will probably go away,” Peter Fillmore from Otway Forum said.
A recent report by engineers recommends installing rock retaining walls and even re-routing the road near Apollo Bay as a long-term option.
“If climate change and sea level rise continues we’ve got to seriously look at rerouting the road,” Mr Fillmore agreed.
But the Andrews government has ruled that option out.
“That road will be in place, it’s been in place for 100 years, it’s going to remain in place for many, many decades to come,” Minister for Environment Lily D’Ambrosio said.
“We are investing $153 million to make sure we undertake crucial safety works to make sure it’s stable,” VicRoads’ Brian Westley said.
Locals say they’ve been calling for action for years and are fed up with short-term fixes.
They are urging the state government to act on the report’s recommendations before it’s too late.
“If the road is cut – and you only need a few big storms – then the tourists can’t get down here,” Mr Fillmore said.