At the time of the First World War, the south-west coast of Victoria was only accessible by sea or rough tracks through dense bush. Due to the lack of accessibility, a push for an ocean road came towards the end of the First World War, with a proposal for the re-employment of returned soldiers.
The Great Ocean Road project was not only a way to employ returning soldiers but of also creating a lasting monument to those who had died during the war.
Survey work began in August 1918, whilst Australians were still taking part in the Battle of Amiens on the other side of the world.
Nearly 3,000 returned soldiers lived in camps set up in the bush along the route whilst constructing the road over 13 years.
Today marks the road’s 100th Anniversary and Member for Wannon Dan Tehan is encouraging all Australians to take a moment to reflect on the road’s history: Australia’s history.
“As we mark the 100th Anniversary of the Great Ocean Road, we should pause and reflect on the sacrifice of those who served in the First World War and also the one million-plus Australians who have served, and continue to serve, in defence of our country,” Tehan said.
“Not only did our soldiers make sacrifices, serving our great country, but they were also trailblazers in the South West Coast of Victoria.”
The road received international recognition in 1962 when the Tourist Development Authority deemed it one of the world’s great scenic roads. In 2011, it was added to the Australian National Heritage List.
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