The lights could go out on an iconic tourism attraction in south-west Victoria.
Cape Otway Light Station manager Matt Bowker said the state government was unwilling to offer it a lease of more than 12 months.
He said that meant he was unlikely to be able to weather the storm in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Bowker said interstate and international visitors made up 70 per cent of the attraction's trade.
He employees 26 staff members but said it's unlikely he will be able to retain them when the JobKeeper ceases in March.
"Unfortunately, with the expected downturn in visitation numbers, the Cape Otway Light station is unlikely to be viable for some time, as a significant number of visitors are international and interstate travellers," Mr Bowker said.
"The 26 permanent staff have been told of the situation and are obviously very distressed by the news. After 24 years of maintaining, improving and providing fantastic visitor experiences we regret that we are being forced into this shutdown."
Mr Bowker said if he was able to negotiate a longer lease, he would be able to borrow funds to keep the business operational until trade returns to normal.
The only other hope he has of keeping it open is if the JobKeeper program is extended.
Mr Bowker's lease finishes in 2022 and he has been unsuccessful in securing a longer lease than 12 months.
"The government has made it clear it will be content to allow the highly popular visitor site to mothball, rather than allow the highly successful business employing up to 40 people in peak times to continue with a viable lease," he said. "The closure of the Cape Otway Light Station will leave a huge hole in the visitor experience along the Great Ocean Road"
"A lease will cost taxpayers nothing, but will provide jobs and opportunities for our hard hit region along the Great Ocean Road.
"Many businesses and people rely on the visitors to the light station for their income, it won't only be our business that will suffer."