Village Abandons Victorian Park Plan
Village Roadshow has abandoned plans to redevelop the Werribee Open Range Zoo into an African-style safari park and theme park.
An inter-departmental Victorian Government committee recently identified problems relating to multiple land titles, the complexity of transferring Crown leases to a private company, roads and transport issues, the potential loss of revenue to the existing zoo and concerns over animal welfare.
When added to Village's desire for a free 99-year lease of crown land and a Victorian Government contribution of $100 million towards the development, the State Government's support for the scheme has evaporated.
Victorian Tourism Minister Tim Holding, who initially backed the scheme, recently conceded the park was not feasible, stating "while the tourism merits of the proposal were clear, we felt the financial contribution that would be required from the State Government was too great."
Village Roadshow spokesman Ben Wilson expressed his company's disappointed that its proposal had been rejected, stating that "at this stage we're moving on to concentrate on our new projects in NSW, Queensland and New Zealand. That's where the growth prospects are."
Zoos Victoria, which manages the Werribee site as well as Melbourne Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary, and which strongly opposed the safari park plan, is, according to Chief Executive John Wills "finalising a 20-year vision to further develop Werribee Open Range Zoo as a true iconic tourist destination for Victoria."
23rd May 2008 - VILLAGE TO BUY AUSSIE WORLD
17th April 2008 - SUPER WILDLIFE PARK FOR MELBOURNE?
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