Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan): My constituency question is directed to the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change and Minister for Solar Homes, the Honourable Lily D’Ambrosio. The Andrews Labor government has announced $84 million for a redevelopment of the Werribee Open Range Zoo to turn it into Australia’s leading open-range zoo. The Werribee zoo is a prominent attraction in my constituency, which is a favourite for families living in Western Metropolitan Region as well as families from outside. Werribee zoo’s redevelopment will deliver a world-class experience. The expansion will create almost 350 local jobs and increase the number of visitors through the gates from 680 000 to 1 million annually. Once completed, the Werribee zoo redevelopment is expected to contribute over $17.8 million annually to Victoria’s economy. My question to the minister is: can the minister provide me an update on the time line of commencement and completion of this project?
Ms D’AMBROSIO (Mill Park—Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Minister for Solar Homes) (10 December 2020):
I thank the Member for Western Metropolitan Region for her question regarding the Werribee Open Range Zoo redevelopment.
I was very proud to stand with the Premier and Member for Werribee, Tim Pallas MP, earlier this month to announce that the Andrews Labor Government is investing $84 million to transform Werribee Zoo into Australia’s leading open range zoo in this State Budget.
The new twenty-two hectares elephant sanctuary will be a drawcard for tourists, it will create jobs in Melbourne’s west and boost the local economy.
Construction will commence from 2021 and continue through to 2024. Each of the various stages of the development will be opened over a three year period from 2022 to 2024, and will include the elephant sanctuary, an expanded rhino retreat, gondola, a prairie landscape for a herd of bison, an expanded lion exhibit and a new hyena clan.