By Shelby Brooks
A 50,000-HECTARE biodiversity sanctuary will be created at Wilsons Promontory by the erection of a 10km predator-proof fence from coast to coast.
In comparison, Phillip Island is around 10,000 hectares.
Parks Victoria will spend $6 million to create the two-metre-high fence along the Yanakie Isthmus, the narrowest point of the peninsula that connects the Prom to mainland Australia, officials announced yesterday.
The creation of the sanctuary is part of a $23 million investment into the Prom, announced as part of the Victorian budget 2020-21.
The funding will include the construction of the internationally significant sanctuary and a new visitor centre in the Northern Prom.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio visited Foster yesterday to speak on the announcement.
“It will make such a huge difference to that special place that so many of us love, Wilsons Prom, that is renowned, not only among all of us as domestic visitors, but for visitors right across the globe,” she said.
“It will enable us to save so many vulnerable animals that are so dear to our hearts, that includes the potoroos, the bandicoots and reintroduce the spotted quoll and be a safe haven for bristlebirds.
“[The fence] will enable us to eradicate all the pests within the Prom right now so it can truly be that pristine wilderness that we so much love.”
The fence is designed to keep cats, foxes, deer and rabbits out to protect the Prom’s unique and abundant wildlife.
It will have double barriers at shoreline boundaries.
The new visitor precinct at the Northern Prom will include an information centre and tourism hub, environmentally sustainable accommodation and a new park and ride service during peak season to reduce congestion and allow more people to visit.
Destination Gippsland chairman Nick Murray commended the project.
“Wilsons Promontory is considered a jewel in the crown of Victoria’s public land and this investment will protect and enhance it for visitors to enjoy for many years to come.”