The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien has called out the Andrews Labor Government for failing to prioritise repair of the Sealers Cove walk at Wilsons Promontory.
Sealers Cove walk was damaged during the significant storm events that occurred in October 2021 and is currently not scheduled to reopen until 2024 at the earliest.
Speaking in Parliament, Mr O’Brien implored the Minister for Environment to provide the necessary funding, approvals and impetus to Parks Victoria to speed up the works.
“I have walked the Sealers Cove track before so I understand it is in a remote area and that in terms of getting construction in there, it will be a difficult and complex project and I understand that,” Mr O’Brien said.
“But to have to wait at least three years for this project to be completed at our world-class national park which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors, including many thousands of overseas visitors, I think is not good enough.”
Mr O’Brien said the Government’s failure to repair Sealers Cove walk was in stark contrast to a media release that the Minister issued last week about the $21 million Urban Parks Active Well-being Program being completed.
“There is a similar story in East Gippsland: the Thurra River bridge at Croajingolong and the Cape Conran boardwalk and cabins 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.
“It seems that when it is a city project like the Urban Parks we can build quickly but when it is something in a part of regional Victoria that is critical to our tourism offering, Parks Victoria is extremely slow.
“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.
“I think three years for the replacement of the Sealers Cove track, a very popular track in Wilsons Promontory, is not reasonable. It needs to be sped up.”