UP to $10million will be spent on land acquisition as part of a new marine and coastal park stretching from San Remo to Inverloch, which will include a camping area.
But there will be no changes to current recreational and commercial fishing opportunities in the new park, which will be managed by Parks Victoria.
The marine and coastal park, according to the government, will offer equal or greater protection to the reserves and parks it is amalgamating, the government said.
Initially, the park boundary will include the Bunurong Marine Park, Bunurong Coastal Reserve, Punchbowl Coastal Reserve, Kilcunda-Harmers Haven Coastal Reserve, Wonthaggi Heathland Nature Conservation Reserve and parts of the San Remo Foreshore Reserve, Kilcunda Foreshore Reserve and Cape Paterson Foreshore Reserve.
It will be called the Yallock-Bulluk Marine and Coastal Park.
The name was chosen by the Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation as it reflects the cultural history of the land over thousands of years.
According to Bass MP Jordan Crugnale, the new park has been created to amalgamate existing coastal reserves into a single marine and coastal park to “better protect the significant coastal environment and landscape values along the Bass Coast and enhance visitor enjoyment and nature tourism in the area”.
The State Government allocated $19.6m to the project as part of a pre-election commitment.
“The project budget provides for the access and infrastructure planning process, including
community and stakeholder consultation, professional consultation fees (surveying, etc.), capital works and up to $10 million of the total budget for land acquisition,” the government said.
“The access and infrastructure precinct plan will determine the design and development plan for the park, including the capital works program upgrading the George Bass Coastal Walk, installation of new signage, provision of a proposed camping area and associated facilities, improving beach access points, and vegetation enhancements.”
The design and location of park facilities, including a proposed new camping area, will be considered during the access and infrastructure planning process led by Parks Victoria, the
government said.
“Planning of a proposed new camping area will seek to complement existing neighbouring campgrounds and caravan parks.”
The popular George Bass Coastal Walk will be upgraded and extended although the final route is yet to be determined and will be a key consideration during consultation, the government said.
“Recreational activities such as horse riding and dog walking are permitted in areas managed under the National Parks Act via a ‘set-aside’ process (effectively zones where they can go).
“In the short-term the existing arrangements for horse riding and dog walking will be retained but will be reviewed as part of Parks Victoria’s access and infrastructure planning process.
“Community consultation and an assessment of park values will inform management of the park to balance the various uses.”
The government’s in talks with property owners with “a view to reaching agreement on the acquisition of land along the coast to include in the park”.
“The need to acquire additional land will be assessed during the access and infrastructure planning process.”
The park will be created after the legislation is passed by Parliament, but no later than December 1, 2020, according to the government.
Yallock-Bulluk are the Clan of the Bunurong that cared for this area of Country. Yallock is the Bunurong word for Creek or River and Bulluk means swamp. Yallock-Bulluk Country extends from Tooradin (the Great Swamp) to the Tarwin River.
Bass MP Jordan Crugnale said the park will become a “truly memorable experience of being immersed in nature and a coastal walk like no other”.
This follows on from Bass Coast being declared a Distinctive Area and Landscape under the Planning and Environment Act 1987.