PLANNING for the coast-to-coast fence to be built right across the Yanakie isthmus along the northern boundary of Wilsons Promontory National Park has now started.
“We are currently undertaking planning works for the 10-kilometre predator-proof fence at the entrance of Wilsons Promontory National Park,” Parks Victoria Chief Conservation Scientist Dr Mark Norman said.
The $6 million fence is one of five aspects of the Victorian Government’s $23 million Wilsons Prom Revitalisation Project announced by the State’s Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio in Foster in November 2020.
The fence will create a 50,000-hectare sanctuary to support the recovery and re-establishment of native animals, plants and habitats, free from the risk of predators, in particular introduced species such as foxes, feral cats, pigs, deer and rabbits.
“Working closely with park neighbours, we are progressing the project while ensuring we meet our obligations to avoid impacts on native vegetation, habitat and native species,” Dr Norman said.
“The Wilsons Prom Revitalisation Project is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enhance this iconic national park, and we want to make sure we get it right.”
Alongside planning, another preliminary phase of the project’s fencing component involves what Parks Victoria calls “scoping works”, with one sense of the term “scoping” defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “to investigate or assess something”.
Building the fence itself is expected to begin early in 2022 and be completed in about 12 months.
The fence is intended to preserve the Prom’s unique biodiversity by protecting the remaining indigenous animals and plants and allowing them, together with other reintroduced native species, to regenerate.
Dedicated trapping and baiting programs will also be carried out inside the National Park once the fence is installed, with the intention of eventually ridding the Prom of all pest animals.
The other four parts of the Prom’s $23 million Revitalisation Project include $3.6 million for 20 low-impact, eco-friendly roofed accommodation pods, with half to be to be built inside the Park and the others just beyond the northern boundary at Yanakie.
Some $2.2 million will be spent on a new all-accessible wildlife walking track and on renewing the Tidal River boardwalk, while upgrades to the Cotters Beach, Big Drift, and Telegraph Saddle Walk tracks are likely to be finished by mid-2022.
Improving peak season car parking capacity and reducing traffic congestion as well as establishing new park-and ride shuttle services at Tidal River has attracted $3.3 million worth of investment, while $7.8 million is going towards a new visitor information hub and an education and research centre. A Parks Victoria spokesman indicated that the entire Wilsons Prom Revitalisation Project “is scheduled for completion by the end of 2023.”