PHILLIP Island Nature Parks has made the very difficult decision to stand down another 20 staff members.

The parks board temporarily closed the Penguin Parade, Koala Conservation Reserve, Antarctic Journey and Churchill Island, effective from Monday, March 23.

Now they’ve made the decision, because of the reduced workload and heavy hit to income as a result of the loss of visitor numbers, to cut staff numbers.

PINP is still the Island’s biggest employer and all of its conservation and maintenance work will continue.

The board says that 14 staff members have been redeployed to Bass Coast Health and assistance is being offered to other displaced employees.

At the time of temporarily closing the Penguin Parade the board said it had not taken the decision lightly, as it has been an important part of the local community for nearly 100 years, and has been at the centre of holiday plans for generations of Victorian families.

“We are critically aware of the need to play our part in managing the safety of our staff, our visitors, those in our community who are most vulnerable, and the wider community, so this is clearly the right decision,” they said at the time.

“We will use this time to continue caring for our precious wildlife and its habitat, and to develop our experiences so that we return stronger and better than ever.”

Recent commentary by the Federal Government that ‘stay at home’ restrictions might soon be eased offers hope that the penguin parade viewings at least might return sooner rather than later.