Subject: Case Study: seals and tourism

Michael Williamson (
Thu, 6 Mar 1997 21:16:29 -0500 (EST)

J. Michael Williamson
   Principal Investigator-WhaleNet <>
   Associate Professor-Science
   Wheelock College, 200 The Riverway, Boston, MA 02215
voice: 617.734.5200, ext. 256
fax:    617.734.8666, or 617.566.7369

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu,  6 Mar 97 12:34:00 GMT 
Subject: Govt comes under fire as it ok

Govt comes under fire as it okays Nobbies development

   MELBOURNE, March 5 AAP - The Victorian government came under
fire today as it announced that it had issued a planning permit for
a controversial new tourist visitor centre overlooking the Nobbies
seal colony on Phillip Island.
   Opposition planning spokesman Demetri Dollis said the government
had dumped the community and the environment to give the project
the go-ahead.
   Mr Dollis said the government had delayed a decision on the
Nobbies development until after last month's Gippsland West
by-election for fear of angering voters.
   And, having lost the by-election in a crushing defeat, it was
now showing "total disregard" for the local community's wishes, he
   But Planning Minister Robert Maclellan said the planning permit
had been granted following community consultation and a review of
appeals involving three public hearings.
   Mr Maclellan noted in a statement that the original tourist
centre proposal hadalso been considerably modified.
   He said the changes included more vehicle access, more
pedestrian and viewing areas, a 1.4-metre reduction in the centre's
height, moving the development back by a further three metres from
the cliff top and additional landscaping and revegetation.
   A further condition of the permit, he said, was that access to
the Nobbies must stop at dusk to prevent disturbance of the local
fairy penguin colony.
   Mr Maclellan said: "Community consultation was important for
coming up with a reasonable outcome and I wish to thank the
community representatives and organisations for their cooperation
and for their goodwill."
   Mr Dollis said the consultation process had been "a political
   He said major concerns remained about the height of the planned
tourist centre, its visibility from the sea, its design, proximity
to the cliff top, parking and vehicle access.
   The opposition spokesman said Mr Maclellan had broken his
promise of January 23 to explore "a lower profile, a less visually
obtrusive exterior and a reduced building bulk".
   The approved building was not "in any sense" a redesign, he