MEDIA RELEASE 16 November 2018 |
The Andrews Labor announcement today for a significant boost in investment to rebuild campgrounds in our parks system, funding for conservation volunteers, a new coastal park and reduction of camping fees is great news and welcomed by the Victorian National Park’s Association (VNPA).
“It’s great to see the role of volunteers and fabulous recreational facilities in the national parks estate being recognised and invested in,” said Matt Ruchel, Executive Director of the Victorian National Parks Association.
“Victorians cherish our unique natural areas and overwhelmingly support the much need investment.”
Some of the key features the package includes:
- Investment of $105.6 million to create new and upgrading more camping grounds (30 existing campgrounds will be upgraded, and 30 will be built from scratch, plus new walking tracks and canoeing facilities);
- Removing camping fees at 500 basic sites over 70 campgrounds, in 19 parks across regional Victoria;
- Halving all remaining camping fees in state and national parks;
- A new coastal park on the Bass Coast, linking up existing parks and reserves dotted along the popular 40 kilometres of coastline from San Remo to Inverloch.
“This investment package for facilities is welcome, but of concern is that park managers still need significantly more funding for core frontline capacity to deal with the many pressures placed on parks, particularly pest plants and animals”.
“A new coastal park on the Bass Coast is also welcome, however it should be given permeant protection under the National Parks Act.”
“There still remains significant gaps in Victoria’s reserve system, which need commitments for new parks to fill these gaps, to protect our forests, woodlands and marine areas across many parts of the state”.
State-wide polling undertaken by the Victorian National Parks Association earlier this week has shown
“The majority of Victorians support parks and nature protection, with more than 70 percent of people supporting both the comprehensive parks network, new national parks across the state, improved funding for parks and threatened species management.”