The National Parks Association has a strong message for the Victorian Government in response to its decision to open up the state’s national parks to development and private investment.
It states “The primary role of national parks is the conservation of nature on behalf of all Victorians. Our parks were not created to end up as building sites for hotels and large-scale infrastructure that can only be used by a privileged few who can afford it.”
The Friends of Eastern Otways have written to the Victorian Premier Dr Denis Napthine emphasising the importance of encouraging tourism development on private land, not within national parks.
As a conservation group committed to the protection of the Great Otway National Park we are very much aware of the natural values that have given our Park its national status with highest protection. More than 60% of Victoria is privately owned land with most of that having been cleared of native habitat. The many thousands of visitors who drive along the Great Ocean Road each year marvel at the natural beauty of the remnant area that provides refuge for our indigenous plants and animals. There is a large amount of tourism potential on private land adjacent to our National Park that allows for certainty of investment. We believe that any large-scale infrastructure such as hotels should be developed on this private land, not within our precious Park.
The primary role of all national parks is the conservation of nature on behalf of the people. It is important that the few remote natural places that Victoria has managed to conserve to this time is not eaten away for the sake of providing accommodation for tourists. So many Victorians have given so much of their time and effort to protecting national parks within this state that it is an insult to them to see this land now under threat.
We strongly oppose this policy, and request that community comment is sought before any private development may be allowed to go ahead.
If you are supportive of this stand please write to, or e-mail the Premier, emphasising the importance of encouraging tourism development on private land not within national parks.
Hon Denis Napthine MP, Premier of Victoria 1 Treasury Place East Melbourne Vic 3002