Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Private tourism development to be allowed in Victoria’s national parks

Private tourism development to be allowed in Victoria’s national parks
August 24, 2012

Some of Victoria's national parks will be opened up for private development under a new plan to boost tourism.

About two-thirds of Victoria's parks, including parts of Wilsons Promontory, the Otways, Point Nepean, Mt Buffalo and the high country will be freed up for private investment following the adoption of recommendations made by the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission (VCEC).

Victorian Treasurer Kim Wells says the changes will encourage investment in accommodation for tourism areas like the Great Ocean Road, but will exclude areas deemed to be environmentally sensitive.

The announcement was made in response to last year's VCEC with Treasurer Wells stressing "any investment will be subject to rigorous environmental controls and will need approval from the Environment Minister before it can proceed.

"No investment will be considered in areas classified as wilderness parks, wilderness zones, reference areas and remote and natural areas under the National Parks Act of 1975."

Victorian Minister for Tourism, Louise Asher, says the changes will bring the state into line with the rest of Australia, stating "this is about getting particularly high-value international visitors to come to our national parks and instead of coming back to a hotel in Melbourne, to actually stay there.

"The Commonwealth Government clearly favours sensitive private investment in national parks and the states support it as well ... so it's not a massive change, given what's happening in Australia."

Victorian Environment Minister Ryan Smith will act as 'gatekeeper' to appropriate development with strict conditions to be appled to leases, with the Government to develop guidelines on an approval process and terms.

No development will be allowed in "high value" areas of national parks classified as wilderness zones, reference areas, remote and natural areas and wilderness parks - about a third of the state's national parks.

The Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) has welcomed the plans with Chief Executive John Lee stating that the "announcement will help to broaden the appeal of national parks, allowing a greater cross-section of the community to enjoy these areas, and attracting visitors from home and abroad."

Lee added "iconic nature-based tourism experiences like the Overland Track Guided Walk and Bay of Fires Lodge Walk in Tasmania, and the Sals Salis Wild Bush luxury safari camp in Western Australia are just a few examples of operations based in national parks which attract tourists from around the world.

"Now Victoria, too, will be able to offer similar experiences in its world-class national parks."

However, Victorian National Parks Association Executive Director Matt Ruchel branded the changes as "misguided and dangerous" that would expose national parks to "irreversible damage."



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

AIS Water

AIS Water, the trading name of Australian Innovative Systems, is a multi-award winning, Australian owned leader in the design, production and supply of commercial and residential chlorine generators…

read more

Aquatics / Safety / Technology


SKC Operations Pty Ltd (SKCorp)

SKC Operations Pty Ltd (SKCorp) is an expert retail and marketing services team specialising in sports, leisure, aquatics, fitness, health, wellness & recreation industry. Using proven…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Fitness / Marketing / Retail


HYPOXI Australia Pty Ltd

HYPOXI®  is one of Europe’s most successful health and weight loss studio concepts.  It’s the first weight loss technology to incorporate exercise with advanced vacuum and…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness


Life Fitness

Life Fitness Cardio Life Fitness Strength Hammer Strength Group Cycling Rowers Certified Refurbished Freeweights Benches & Racks Flooring Life Fitness is the global leader in the fitness…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Technology / Wellness



Founded in 1961, Myrtha Pools® quickly became Italy’s première swimming pool company, and has since grown into one of the world's leading swimming pool construction…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Play / Waterparks / Wellness



HQH Fitness is an international company that specialises in improving the health, fitness and wellness of people everywhere. We are the South Pacific distributors for Total Gym/GRAVITY Education and…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / 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



SLE Worldwide Australia is a Managing General Underwriter specialising in insuring risks in the world of Sports, Leisure and Entertainment. Be it relaxing, playing, organising or watching sports,…

read more

Insurance / Venues


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