Tuesday, 21 June 2022


Cape Conran Coastal Park

Cape Conran Coastal Park

Mr T BULL (Gippsland East) (19:03): (6428) My adjournment is for the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, and the action that I seek is for the minister to advise the Orbost and Marlo communities why there will be less roofed accommodation when the Cape Conran Coastal Park is rebuilt after the 2019–20 fires. The minister and I were recently at Cape Conran having a look at the boat ramp, but this issue does need addressing. The minister committed to building back bigger and better at that camp park. Originally there were five wilderness retreats and there were eight roofed accommodation cabins, so there were 13 accommodation options. Post fires we are now told that there are only going to be 10. How are you building back bigger and attracting more tourists with less accommodation options?

The minister said in her media release of October 2021 that the 10 cabins that were destroyed at Banksia Bluff will add to the cabins and wilderness retreats destroyed by the fires and that works will attract more visitors than ever. How can we attract more visitors with less cabins? It makes no sense. When the fires hit, all the wilderness retreats were destroyed. Three of the eight cabins were destroyed; there were five remaining. Now, what we were told was the cabins that were destroyed would be replaced by insurance money—that was good—and 10 new cabins would be built. Now we are told there is only going to be 10 all up and the cabins that survived the fire are going to be bulldozed because they do not meet current standards. But the large lodge is being brought up to current standards. If it can be brought up to standards, why are we bulldozing the other three? Why can’t we keep them as well?

It is not right that the community is told ‘We’re going to build back bigger and better with more accommodation’ and it ends up being less. That is just not suitable. It is not a good outcome for the economy of that Orbost-Marlo area. I want the minister to come out now and clearly explain why there has been this reduction in roofed accommodation, and also while she is at it she might like to explain why these replacement cabins are built and waiting at the factory to be delivered to Cape Conran but there is a delay in actually delivering them. The community wants to know the answers to a number of questions, but my adjournment specifically is to explain to that community why there is going to be less roofed accommodation at Cape Conran post fires than there was pre fires, because that is not what my community was promised when the minister made this announcement.