Penguins back on parade

The new complex. Pictures: SUPPLIED

By Mitchell Clarke

Phillip Island’s famous Penguin Parade draws crowds from across the world and a new $58.2 million visitor centre is set to cater for the 700,000 tourists who convene to the parade annually.

One of Australia’s most popular tourist attractions, the new centre was launched by Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Environment Lily D’Ambrosio on Thursday 25 July, replacing the existing centre which is over 30 years old.

Funded through the Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund, the project created 200 construction jobs and is expected to create more than 600 new jobs in the local tourism sector.

“The new centre will create hundreds of Victorian jobs and ensure this world-class centre continues providing a wonderful experience for more local families, and visitors from across Australia and the world,” Mr Andrews said.

More than six hectares of penguin habitat is set to be restored, eventually creating homes for an additional 1400 breeding penguins.

“The restoration of vital habitat is a critical component of this development, creating homes for thousands of penguins and helping to secure the future of Australia’s largest Little Penguin colony,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

Member for Bass Jordan Crugnale said “we’re creating a world class visitor experience for the tens of thousands of people who travel from all over to see the penguin colony at our very own Phillip Island”.

The development is one of 126 under the Local Jobs First program, supporting 35,000 local jobs.