Little Penguins: Big Upgrade

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 Andrews Labor Government will 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million in the 2016/17 Victorian Budget for a major redevelopment of the attraction’s Visitor Centre, replacing the outdated 1988 facility with a larger and better equipped centre that has a smaller environmental footprint.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 investment has been made possible through the new $101 million Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund to be delivered as part of the upcoming Budget.

The fund will help boost regional tourism and drive new jobs across Victoria.

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.

Phillip Island Nature Parks will add $10 million to the project for a total cost of $58.2 million.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“This world class attraction needs world class facilities. The Penguin Parade and Phillip Island Nature Parks must remain top of the list for visitors to Victoria.”

“This project is a big win for jobs, tourism and Phillip Island.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for the Environment, Water and Climate Change Lisa Neville

“Anyone who has visited the Penguin Parade knows just how special this natural spectacle is. It’s only right that  they have the facilities to match.”

Tourists to Phillip Island directly fund world class conservation research. Today’s announcement will ensure that the longest continuous seabird study in the world can keep doing its vital work.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford

“This fund is a vital investment in regional Victorian tourism and will help create new jobs.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“The Phillip Island Penguin Parade is loved by local residents as much as anyone. This is a huge boost for local tourism and great news for jobs.”