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Wait for funding to fix Sealers Cove walk at Wilsons Promontory due to the 2021 storm damage way too long

Seeking funding to expedite the Sealers Cove walk replacement at Wilsons Promontory due to the 2021 storm damage. Three years is too long to wait for world-class national parks.

By news@gippsland - 23rd March 2023 - Back to News

My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Environment, and the action I seek is for the minister to provide the necessary funding and approvals and impetus to Parks Victoria to speed up the replacement of the Sealers Cove walk at Wilsons Promontory. The track there was damaged by the storms in October 2021 and is currently not scheduled to reopen until 2024.

Danny O'Brien requests funds for speedy Sealers Cove walk replacement at Wilsons Promontory

Danny O'Brien requests funds for speedy Sealers Cove walk replacement at Wilsons Promontory

Delayed national park upgrades

Even then, the advice from Parks Victoria on its website is simply that year, 2024, and it is at the earliest 2024. So it could well be 2025 or years after. It is a concern to me that it will take so long. I have walked the Sealers Cove track before. I understand it is in a more remote area and difficult to get to by road - or not all by road. So in terms of getting construction in there, it will be difficult.

I also appreciate it is largely through a swamp, so it is a complex project and I understand that. But to have to wait at least three years for this project to be completed at one of our world-class - probably the world-class - national parks here in the state which actually attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors, including many thousands of overseas visitors, I think is not good enough.

It comes on the back of the issues that we have been raising in the budget estimates process, particularly on behalf of the member for Gippsland East: the Thurra River bridge at Croajingolong and the Cape Conran boardwalk and cabins at Cape Conran that have still not been rebuilt, and indeed in the case of the last two have not even got a timeline for when they will be rebuilt after the 2019-20 fires.

Regional parks delays

I put this in contrast to a media release that the minister issued last week about the $21 million urban parks active wellbeing program being completed. When it is an urban project we can build the rock walls and the playgrounds and the refurbished and upgraded toilets that are part of that project, but when it is something in a part of regional Victoria that is critical to our tourism offering, Parks Victoria is extremely slow.

This is, I think, not good enough. I might add that there is a suspicion among many regional Victorians that Parks Victoria does not actually want humans in our national parks, and delays like this only go to reinforce that suspicion.

Mary-Anne Thomas: Wrong! Well, if I am wrong, Minister, then please talk to your colleague the Minister for Environment and actually make sure that this does get done on a reasonable timeline. I think to say three years for the replacement of that track, a very popular track in Wilsons Promontory, is not reasonable. It needs to be sped up.

Pictures from Visit Gippsland Facebook page.


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