FREE ENTRY TO VICTORIA’S HEALTHY PARKS WILL HELP MAKE VICTORIANS HEALTHIER PEOPLE

Posted on 12. Apr, 2010 in Victoria

Entry to all of Victoria’s national parks and metropolitan parks will be made free of charge to encourage people to get active in the great outdoors.

“Victoria has one of the best park networks in the world and we want them to be as accessible as possible to all Victorians,” Clayton MP Hong Lim said.

“From 1 July 2010 there will be no entry fee to any national park or metropolitan park in Victoria. Parks Victoria estimates that removing entry fees will increase visitor numbers by 25 per cent to 50 per cent at most sites.”

National parks that will be free are Wilsons Promontory, Mount Buffalo, Baw Baw, Mornington Peninsula, Yarra Ranges (Mount Donna Buang) and Point Nepean as well as Werribee Park, Coolart, National Rhododendron Gardens and William Ricketts Sanctuary metropolitan parks.

 “This is great news for tourism in Victoria.”

Hong Lim said encouraging people to get out and about in Victoria’s parks was good for community wellbeing and good for regional economies.

“Helping people gain easier access to the state’s beautiful national parks is important for our health and wellbeing,”

“Tens of millions of people enjoy our parks each year so making them more accessible will mean Victoria is an even better place to live, work and raise a family.”

Hong Lim also said while there were overwhelming benefits to the community from encouraging more people to visit parks, there were costs to providing the necessary services and infrastructure.

“To ensure that we continue to fund parks sustainability in the future, we will conduct a review of all the revenue streams and costs associated with parks management, including tourism and recreational activities, weeds and pest control and essential infrastructure.”

Interested groups will have the opportunity to participate in this process.

This announcement comes as delegates from 32 countries gathered in Melbourne for the first international Healthy Parks Healthy People Congress.  Participants are exploring the crucial role of the natural world in increasingly urban lifestyles.

“This ground-breaking week long event will examine the many ways nature and parks significantly contribute to our health, our environment and our economy,” Hong Lim concluded.

For information call Parks Victoria on 13 1963 or go to www.parkweb.vic.gov.au

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