You are here

Wilson's Prom Tidal River threatened with daily commercial tour boats

Are you aware that Wilsons Prom is under threat from private interests again? This time they want to base a commercial boat tour operation at Tidal River. If you've ever visited the Prom, you will be familiar with the northern end of Norman Bay where the Tidal River estuary spills out across the wide flat beach. It is no exaggeration to say that this is the most popular beach for visitors to the Prom and a playground for children and families. This same spot is to be taken over by Pennicott Wilderness Journeys with 3 large amphibious boats (12m x 4m) which will take up to 32 passengers each on a 2 hour tour of the marine park. The boats will ride up onto the beach to load and unload their passengers - "Outta the way kids!" See also: "Parks Victoria fail to protect marine environment - Auditor General Victoria" and "Parks Victoria incompetent management of invasive weeds and animals: Auditor General

Parks Victoria seems to be firmly behind this proposal having encouraged Pennicotts to apply for a grant and then providing a glowing letter of endorsement for its grant application. As a result, Pennicotts received a $650,000 government grant to start building boats before there was any assessment of the project's impacts. Twelve months later there has been no independent assessment of the impact on existing use of the beach. Parks Vic's justification is that, under the current park management plan (~1992), this part of the beach is the designated boat launching site. This nasty little sleight-of-hand ignores the huge difference in scale between current use (the casual visitor would be lucky to ever see the occasional tinnie being launched here) and the proposed use (3 large boats during daylight hours on every day of the year). It is difficult to imagine that, 25 years ago, the authors of the management plan envisaged that, one day, a large commercial operation would take over this beach. Parks Victoria is meant to be protecting the Prom's natural values, not actively trashing one of its pristine beaches.

Minister Lily D'Ambrosio (Energy, Environment and Climate Change) is currently considering Parks Vic's recommendation to grant Pennicotts the licence it needs to operate the tours.
[Candobetter.net Editor: When you do, consider including a link to our other articles about Parks Victoria, particularly the Auditor General's scathing report. "Parks Victoria fail to protect marine environment - Auditor General Victoria" and "Parks Victoria incompetent management of invasive weeds and animals: Auditor General]
If you value the Prom, can you please take the time to send a message to the Minister that you place a high value on this beach - email: lily.d'ambrosio@parliament.vic.gov.au.

Also, please consider signing the petition at this link -
https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/The_Premier_of_Victoria_Save_Wilsons_Promontory/?emzxhXlb&utm_source=sharetools&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=petition-416536-The_Premier_of_Victoria_Save_Wilsons_Promontory&utm_term=zxhXlb%2BenParks

We are not fundamentally opposed to boat tours of the Prom marine park but we do strongly feel they should be based outside the park boundary, not based in Tidal River.

Please also visit https://friendsoftheprom.org.au to see our objection and an easy link to the petition site.

Thanks, I hope that you will support the Prom.

Regards

Bill Hansen

0417 341 504

Comments

This operation would ruin the ambience of this tranquil area. It is the first place most people would visit on arrival at Tidal River camping are. It needs to reman underdeveloped, non -commercial and wild. Please , Parks Victoria , leave Victorians this place to restore our sanity on our escape from Mad Melbourne.