Penguin Parade set for an upgrade21/04/2016
Phillip Island’s iconic Penguin Parade, one of Victoria’s most popular tourist attractions, will receive a much needed upgrade, boosting jobs and tourism in regional Victoria.
The Victorian Government is set to provide $48.2 million in the 2016/17 Victorian Budget for a major redevelopment of the attraction’s Visitor Centre, replacing the outdated 1988 facility with a larger and better equipped centre that has a smaller environmental footprint.
Tourism is vital for jobs in regional Victoria, and the Nature Park is the area’s largest employer.
This major redevelopment in Phillip Island will create 620 new jobs a year, including around 110 construction personnel while redevelopment is underway. Phillip Island Nature Parks already supports 1,350 full time jobs.
Phillip Island Nature Parks is one of Australia’s most popular wildlife attractions with over 600,000 visitors a year, with this project potentially increasing visitation by more than 20 per cent over ten years. It is also home to world leading research and preservation efforts to protect seabirds and other threatened species.
Over eight hectares of habitat will also be restored back to the Island’s penguin colonies, with the Nature Parks better placed to achieve environmental outcomes by reducing impacts on penguins and increasing penguin habitat.
This investment has been made possible through the new $101 million Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund which is to be delivered as part of the upcoming Budget. The fund aims to help boost regional tourism and drive new jobs across Victoria.
Phillip Island Nature Parks will add $10 million to the project for a total cost of $58.2 million.