Natural value of Great Ocean Road must be protected


Former Victorian Premier Steve Bracks has thrown his support behind new ecotourism venture Wildlife Wonders, which will help protect the natural values of the Great Ocean Road and is calling for others to do the same.

Tourism along the Great Ocean Road is booming. With annual visitation set to rise from 6 million to 8.6 million people over the next ten years, the pressure is on to ensure facilities along this famous road can cope with demand and its unique environment is protected.

Former Victorian Premier Steve Bracks says that whilst the Great Ocean Road Action Plan is a good start, more action–and investment­–is needed from the private sector, and he has thrown his support behind a new ecotourism development near Apollo Bay.

“Wildlife Wonders will showcase our unique Australian wildlife, and at the same time it will generate revenue to fund important research and conservation efforts along the Great Ocean Road,” says Mr Bracks.

All profits will go into conservation and research ensuring a healthy and resilient Otways will be preserved for future generations to enjoy.

“Designed by Brian Massey, the landscape designer behind the highly successful Hobbiton in New Zealand, Wildlife Wonders is an outstanding opportunity to educate visitors about our native wildlife and build capacity for conservation across the Otways,” says Mr Bracks.

Wildlife Wonders is based on a spectacular 50-acre property near Apollo Bay, and will offer visitors to the Great Ocean Road unsurpassed opportunities to observe and photograph the iconic animals of the area in a natural, predator-free setting.

It’s expected to create at least 30 permanent jobs, and the profits will be invested into research and conservation activities in the Otways.

The attraction is being developed by the not-for-profit Conservation Ecology Centre, which has secured $8.75 million in funding so far, including $1.5 million from the Victorian Government and $2 million from the Australian Government.

They are currently seeking philanthropic support and impact investors to bring them up to their $12.6 million target.

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