Minister for Environment, Climate Change, and Water media release 5 May 2015.
The Andrews Labor Government is investing in the future of our pristine natural environment and heritage so more families can get outdoors and experience it together.
The 2015-16 Victorian Budget provides $132 million to give families a safe, enjoyable and comfortable way to see our natural assets.
After the previous Liberal Government cut vital funds from Parks Victoria, the Budget provides a $11 million emergency injection of funds to upgrade dilapidated buildings, toilets, paths and roads and build new facilities in parks across the state.
The Labor Government is also taking action to preserve our natural and heritage assets, including $13.4 million to restore the historic Palais Theatre and $2 million to establish the Canadian State Park in Ballarat. Biodiversity programs which protect endangered animals and plants will continue.
Every child gets a chance to experience the wonder of Victoria’s zoos, with the Budget providing $5.8 million to continue free entry for children under 16 on weekends, public holidays and during school holidays.
$9 million will also be provided to Zoos Victoria to complete the new and exciting Predator Prey precinct, which will replace the outdated Big Cat exhibit that displayed animals within old wire cages.
Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Open Range Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary are some of Victoria’s most popular attractions, with more than 2 million visitors in 2013-14.
The Budget provides $13.5 million to complete the Portarlington Safe Harbour project, giving the pier a new life as a hub for boating, recreation and the local aquaculture industry.
A new mountain bike facility at Harcourt and a 144 kilometre trail through the Grampians National Park will also be funded in the Budget, to bring more tourists to our regions.
The Budget provides $50 million to continue planned burning on public land, which reduces bushfire risk, and $7 million to remove hazardous trees next to roads and tracks.
Under the Labor Government, climate change is back on the agenda. Schools, businesses and farmers will get the support they need to deal with extreme weather conditions and become more sustainable.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, Lisa Neville
“Victoria’s pristine natural environment is part of our way of life and every family should have the chance to get outdoors and experience it for themselves.”
“The Liberals took climate change off the agenda and sent us all backwards, but we are determined to get Victoria back in front and preserve our natural assets for the future.”
“Anyone who has been to the Melbourne Zoo knows that the cold and archaic Big Cat exhibition needs a new life.”