With just over a week to go until Victorian State Elections, Labor has pledged a funding injection of over 105 million to improve the state’s parks and get more people enjoying the amazing bush Victoria has to offer.
Money will be used to build 30 new campsites around Victoria. Daniel Andrews and his Labor Team have also promised to upgrade 30 existing sites in state and national parks plus cut fees in half and more if re-elected.
Victorian National Park’s Association (VNPA), has responded with a media release of its own outlining what’s happening with the funding and what still needs to be considered in their eyes and I quote.
“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.
“ A new coastal park on the Bass Coast is also welcome, however it should be given permanent 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”.
“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”.