NGSC backs zoo redevelopment
Published on 09 March 2018
Northern Grampians Shire Council will work closely with Halls Gap Zoo in order to seek State Government funding to support a plan aimed at transforming the zoo into Western Victoria’s landmark tourist attraction.
Council will work alongside the Hall Gap Zoo’s owners and operators, Greg and Yvonne Culell, to develop a detailed feasibility study and business case and in order to attract Victorian Government support to redevelop the zoo, with the proposed upgrades set to include a rhinoceros enclosure, nocturnal house, café and other minor upgrades. The project is planned to take place over a five-year period.
Under its recently-redeveloped Business Assistance Scheme, Council will provide financial support, alongside the support of Economic Development staff, in order to facilitate the development of the business model and feasibility study, which is set to be carried out by an independent consultant.
“The Halls Gap Zoo is already one of our premier tourist destinations, and this project will only further serve to boost that reputation,” Northern Grampians Shire Council Mayor, Cr Tony Driscoll said.
“This is the perfect example of where the Business Assistance Scheme can provide a helping hand - an established local business is looking to expand and diversify, and Council is more than happy to be helping out in any way that we can”.
“In this instance, we’re assisting the zoo’s operators to develop their business model and present the best case possible to secure Victorian Government funding.”
Mr Culell said he was excited about the project’s potential to boost visitor number to the region, and looked forward to working alongside Council and to do so.
“This is an exciting project for both ourselves but also for the region,” Mr Culell said.
“Western Victoria needs a well known iconic tourism destination to rival the likes of Dubbo Zoo, Swan Hill’s Pioneer Settlement and Eureka Stockade and Sovereign Hill in Ballarat, and this five-year project at Halls Gap Zoo will go a long way to implementing this.
“While this project won't benefit Yvonne and myself directly, we are delighted to work together with Council and Grampians Tourism to create a long-lasting legacy that can be used by the community to draw visitation to the region.”