A plan for the future of Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve near Warrnambool will secure one of Victoria’s most important conservation and cultural heritage areas for all to enjoy.
Labor Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney today announced the release of the final Tower Hill Activation and Linkages Plan after a second round of community consultation received nearly 250 submissions.
The Victorian Government announced $11.3 million for upgrades at Tower Hill as part of the $2.7 billion COVID-19 pandemic works stimulus package. The plan aims to ensure these upgrades provide ongoing protection for the environment and harness the opportunities they bring for sustainable recreation and nature-based tourism.
Close to the Great Ocean Road and the Budj Bim National Park World Heritage site, Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve is becoming a known stop-off destination for visitors. In 2019, more than 295,000 visitors were recorded prior to the impacts of the COVID-19, with steady increases expected in future.
Feedback throughout the two rounds of consultation showed strong support for enhancing Tower Hill, its trail network, and facilities, including the heritage-listed Robin Boyd building and visitor centre, and reducing pest plants and animals to conserve the environment of the magnificent dormant volcano.
Opportunities for education, trails and visitor information to celebrate the area’s cultural heritage are also proposed in line with aspirations and strategic plans of Eastern Maar Traditional Owners of the land.
Initial works have already commenced, including upgraded barbecue facilities, tracks and boardwalks. Other priorities include upgrades for the visitor information and cultural centre, replacing the toilet block and enhancing the dance ground.
The Tower Hill Activation and Linkages Plan and an engagement summary report are now available on the Engage Victoria website at https://engage.vic.gov.au/revitalising-tower-hill-wildlife-reserve
Quote attributable to Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney
“I am really pleased the significance of Tower Hill for nature, cultural heritage, tourism and our local economy has been acknowledged and supported through this plan.”
“Feedback from local people has made the plan stronger – it will conserve this special landscape, celebrate its cultural heritage, and help people connect with nature.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“Tower Hill is a much-loved destination in Western Victoria and this plan and funding will result in significant upgrades to the reserve.”