Dec 12, 2005

Bracks Shows Vision on Otways National Park

Bracks Shows Vision on Otways National Park


12 December 2005

I congratulate Victorian Premier Steve Bracks on the creation of the new 103 000 hectare Great Otway National Park.

The Great Otway National Park will quickly become one of the jewels in Victoria’s crown, featuring spectacular waterfalls and stunning coastal views, with the Twelve Apostles and the Great Ocean Road close by.

The establishment of the national park is good for the environment and good for the economy. The Otways is already the most popular Victorian tourist destination outside of Melbourne, and this initiative will only enhance its reputation.

Logging of native forests will be phased out in the Otways by 2008, $13 million will be spent establishing the new national park and $7 million has already been allocated for the New Future for the Otways Tourism Initiative.

At a time when we’re facing a national biodiversity extinction crisis, the Great Otway National Park will protect old growth forest and important plant and animal species, including 43 threatened species. At least 12 threatened species are found nowhere else in the world.

This decision is in the fine tradition of State Labor Governments protecting our local environment and will benefit this and future generations.