17 August, 2016
I am very pleased to join the adjournment debate this evening with a request to the Minister for Tourism and Major Events. My request to the minister is that he meet with his own local residents — those in Lara and those who live in the community around Victoria's iconic You Yangs. In meeting with those residents the minister should gain a clear understanding of the impact that the proposed sand quarry at the base of the You Yangs will have on tourism for the whole area.
The You Yangs are a beautiful natural feature which brings thousands of people to the broader Geelong area each year. The Parks Victoria website says that, amongst other reasons, people visit the You Yangs for their magnificent views. Unfortunately, if the minister does not do his bit to ensure that this quarry does not go ahead, then those magnificent views will be spoilt forever.
Although the You Yangs are well known to many Victorians, people internationally have also seen the views as the area is used as a backdrop for a number of films and television shows over the years. This puts the You Yangs on the map, bringing tourists from interstate and overseas to the Geelong area, which in turn supports the broader Geelong economy.
If this sand quarry is to go ahead, these sorts of opportunities will be lost. Not only will the site become considerably less attractive, but the mere logistics of trying to operate a film shoot in conjunction with the quarrying operations would be a nightmare. With local quarrying already potentially causing environmental impacts, the risk of expanding those operations would seem too high when measured against any further damage that could be done.
Victoria is blessed with spectacular and diverse landscapes across its length and breadth. Many visitors come to Victoria to see those sights and enjoy the natural environment. It is the minister's role to support and encourage tourism throughout the state and certainly in and around his own electorate. I urge the minister to listen to his community, understand the impact that this proposed quarry will have and do everything he can to maintain this iconic destination.