Member of Lions Club – State Parliament
Almost six months after the fires destroyed our public infrastructure and campgrounds at locations like Cape Conran, Thurra River, Wingan Inlet, Shipwreck Creek and Buchan Caves – they remain closed and the State Government is only this week advertising for positions for the clean-up.
Nationals Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio (responsible for Parks Victoria) and Tourism Minister, Martin Pakula had dropped the ball on the public land clean up.
“Minister D’Ambrosio seemed able to find significant amounts of money to contract shooters to kill our brumbies - which was not supported by the community - but isn’t that keen to get our public infrastructure fixed,” he said.
“What we have heard today from Minister Pakula is the jobs will be advertised over the next month. By the time appointments are made and they get to work it will likely be July – seven months after the fires.
“Local groups, including business groups, were hoping to have these locations up and running by Easter, but on this timeframe, they will be lucky to be operational by the September school holidays.
“There just seems to be no understanding or urgency from this city centric government as to the importance of these areas to our tourism and economy,” said Mr Bull.
“What have they been doing for the past five months? It is time Mr Pakula, as Tourism Minister, lit a fire under his Ministerial colleague to get some action fast tracked on getting these destinations repaired or rebuilt and re-opened.
“To quote the publican at Marlo Hotel, he said ‘when Conran is open I do well and it allows me to employ more locals’.
“It’s a fairly simple message.”
Image of the sand dunes at Thurra River courtesy of Visit Victoria Content Hub.