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Green group promises to fight national parks ecotourism push

The Victorian Government has passed legislation to allow for commercial tourism developments in Victoria’s national parks.

The new laws will allow restaurants, hotels and other tourism developments at Point Nepean, Port Campbell, Wilsons Promontory and the Grampians.

The Government says applicants will have to submit a detailed environment management plan.

The president of Friends of the Prom, Deborah Henry, says allowing any commercial development in national parks will be bad for the environment.

“We definitely will flight any kind of development move down there and we’ll be certainly be looking at any proposals coming up and any means to really take a close look at those proposals and how they’ll be detrimental to the park,” she said.

Earlier this year, the Deputy Premier and Minster for Regional and Rural Development, Peter Ryan, said ecotourism was an important driver of jobs and income for local communities and the changes would allow Victoria to improve its offering to travellers to induce them to stay longer in regional areas.

Mr Ryan said the guidelines followed the release of an independent report by the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission which recommended “sensible and sensitive developments in national parks” as a measure to unlock Victorian tourism.

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