Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Dispute over private sector developments in Victoria’s national parks

Dispute over private sector developments in Victoria’s national parks
June 3, 2013

The Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA) have claimed that new legislation will effectively put Victoria's national parks "up for sale" with 99 year development leases set to be allowed in the state's most important parks.

Victorian National Parks Association Executive Director Matt Ruchel explained "This new legislation hangs a 'for sale' sign on Victoria's most cherished national parks by allowing 99 year leases.

"These 99 year leases are as good as private ownership of Victoria's prime conservation areas, and represent a betrayal by this state government of long-term bipartisan support for national parks protection.

"Handing developers 99 year leases is effectively selling some of Victoria's most valuable conservation land. Any developments requiring such a long lease will likely be on large scales that will only grow bigger over time, threatening the long-term integrity of our national parks.

"There is no need for private development inside Victoria's parks, which are almost all within easy reach of accommodation and services found in regional towns.

"The (Victorian) Government needs to start acting like a steward of our most important natural areas, not a real estate developer.

"It is the major investors who will benefit most from private developments in parks, not the majority of park visitors and certainly not the parks themselves.

"There is no evidence private developments in parks contribute to the management of parks. International and national examples prove they often take resources away from much-needed conservation management.

"For good reason less than one per cent of 20,000 national parks worldwide have any significant tourism infrastructure within them. And most of these developments pre-date park establishment or are on pre-existing parcels of private land."

However, a Victorian Goverment spokesperson has claimed that the credibility of the VNPA has been "seriously damaged" as a result of what Media Spokesperson James Martin says are "misleading comments ... that wilderness and remote areas in national parks are being opened up for (development) leases."

Martin explains that the Victorian Government's guidelines for potential eco-tourism opportunities in national parks, and legislation presented to the Victorian Parliament state that "leases cannot be granted over land in parks where development is clearly not appropriate in particular, in wilderness parks and wilderness zones, remote and natural areas, reference areas, the designated water supply catchment areas in the Great Otway, Kinglake and Yarra Ranges national parks, and natural catchment areas under the Heritage Rivers Act 1992."

Martin continued "the frequent alarmist and often incorrect claims of the VNPA and its executive director, Mr Ruchel, reinforce the lobby group's complete opposition to sensible and sensitive development and to allowing Victorians the opportunity to visit and enjoy their natural environment.

"While the VNPA is intent on locking up our national parks and throwing away the key, by contrast the Victorian Coalition Government is committed to supporting appropriate and sustainable access to our national parks for all Victorians and for interstate and overseas visitors."

For more information visit on the VNPA's claims, visit the 'Hands off our Parks' page at!





Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all


Swimplex Aquatics are a world-class company dedicated to the commercial pool, waterslide industry. We are Australian market leaders servicing all states Australia wide. Swimplex provide a full…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Design / Play / Waterparks



Sports Padding At Rae-Line we manufacture high quality sports padding, gym mats, foam mats and protective padding, suitable for a range of different facilities. Our sports padding is…

read more

Attractions / Fitness / Recreation / Safety / Sport


Aussie Strength

We are Aussie Strength. The ultimate supplier for Commercial Gym Equipment that's built to deliver in the toughest environments. From USA-Built hardcore weight training equipment from Arsenal…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness


Hadley/Series Australia Pty Ltd

Hadley Australia and Series Australia Pty Ltd are the leading quality theatre chair manufacturers in the southern hemisphere. The businesses work closely with architects, interior designers and…

read more

Arts / Culture / Design / Entertainment / Venues


iDwala Pty Ltd

iDwala is the Community Sports Surface Specialist offering the highest quality designs and technical expertise to Councils, Schools and Sporting Clubs looking to create sporting…

read more

Consultants / Design / Recreation / Sport / Surfaces


Polin Waterparks

Polin was founded in Istanbul in 1976, and has since grown into a leading company in the waterparks industry. Today Polin is one of the world leaders in the design, production, and installation of…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Waterparks



Headquartered in Brisbane with an Australia-wide network of satellite offices, PaySmart is one of Australia’s largest and longest-standing direct debit billing companies. In 1996 we began…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology


Crystal Pools

Crystal Pools has a solid history of performance on a wide variety of government and commercial projects and is the name behind many of Australia’s most innovative and ambitious aquatic…

read more

Aquatics / Design


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business