Thursday, July 3, 2008

What motivates this State Government?

THE State Government wants to press ahead with a tourist theme park in Victoria, despite the collapse yesterday of controversial plans for a $220 million Disney-style African safari park at Werribee Open Range Zoo.

Tourism Minister Tim Holding, who enthusiastically backed the scheme by Village Roadshow, yesterday conceded the park was not feasible.

"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," Mr Holding said.

As revealed by The Age yesterday, an inter-departmental committee had identified several problems not considered by the Village Roadshow scheme.

These included issues of multiple land titles, the complexity of transferring Crown leases to a company, roads and transport issues, the potential loss of revenue to the existing zoo and concerns over animal welfare.

Senior Government figures were also concerned about the Government spending millions of dollars on a theme park at a time when it faces major challenges in areas such as public transport and health.

Mr Holding said a cost-benefit analysis of the proposal would remain secret because of commercial confidentiality. He denied being embarrassed by scuttling a project he had backed. He said he remained excited by the idea, which had the potential to fill a gap in the Victorian tourism market. The state does not have a theme park.

Village Roadshow spokesman Ben Wilson said the company was disappointed its proposal had failed and it would seek a debriefing from the Government.

"At this stage we're moving on to concentrate on our new projects in NSW, Queensland and New Zealand," Mr Wilson said.

"That's where the growth prospects are."

While strongly supported in principle by both Mr Holding and Premier John Brumby, the Safari World idea was vigorously opposed by some animal experts, local environment groups and supporters of the three Victorian zoos...

Read the rest at http://www.theage.com.au/national/zoo-park-plan-fails-come-in-from-wild-20080701-300e.html?page=-1

The rumourmongers suggest that Brumby was gutted by the decision, and will be further investigating this proposal, and as suggested by the article, other proposals for theme parks. Yes, it could potentially be good for Victorian Tourism... but perhaps the weather we get here, compared with Queensland, makes it a bit tricky?

PREMIER John Brumby will seek to protect Victorian control of water supplies on two fronts today, vowing to confront Canberra's push for greater access to the state's irrigation water while giving State Parliament tighter control over Melbourne's major water retailers...

Read the rest at http://www.theage.com.au/national/brumby-ready-for-stoush-over-water-20080702-30om.html

Which is all well and good, but they are also building a pipeline from Northern Victoria to Melbourne, so that we can keep flushing our toilets (and, I'm guessing, voting for him). If preservation of water were truly on his agenda, he'd be looking at alternatives for the metropolitan area (more funding for grey-water systems, perhaps?)

Perhaps the theory that Mr Brumby wants to get his name onto something forevermore (think "Jeff's Shed") has merit. Brumby's Hole, anyone?

1 comment:

2 + 2 = 5 said...

This is just speculative rubbish and lends your cause no credence whatsoever.

Do yourself (and your cause) a favour, and stick to the facts mate.

'Rumour mill' indeed - that is the same sort of baseless, damp-lettuce attack that gives the Green Political Party the public perception as lightweights - that they seem to earn time and again.