Save Princetown Wetlands

The proposed Montarosa large-scale resort development at Princetown is inappropriate for this site which is on a flood plain and a nationally significant wetland. Given the increasing climate extremes that we know will impact our coastal areas, we are asking now that the permit has expired, to properly review the plan, considering the updated Victorian coastal planning data and regulations.

We are looking to raise funds for legal aid and further expert advice. If you can donate anything towards helping this natural beauty, it will be greatly appreciated. If not, visit our website www.princetownwetlands.com, to see how else you can help!

BACKGROUND:

What is proposed? A large public tourist facility with 300 seat restaurant, fast food, souvenirs, activity center, accommodation for hundreds, day spa etc. This will all require water piped in from ? somewhere. A sewerage pipeline to ? somewhere, or trucked down the Great Ocean Road to the next town.  A large intersection off the Great Ocean Road will need to be built as well as upgrading the bridge which is $3.3million alone. Old Coach Road has to be raised, sealed and turned into a dual road that will cut through the campground.

With just 1 week left on their 4-year planning permit, Montarosa tried to access their site through Crown recreation reserve land, which is a breach of their permit conditions. The Police had to remove the developers and their team after they broke through the council fence to enter their land.

In a rush to forge a new track on an easement through the wetland, they have breached multiple conditions of both the development site planning permit and the newly granted access track permit.

The community had to be there all week to witness and record this disregard for basic workplace and environment protection laws/regulations as the appropriate authorities will not.

This conditional approval sets a very bad precedent for coastal planning in Victoria and is just another example of the Government’s total disregard for the environment.

There are many other issues not resolved that need to be addressed before development starts;

- There has been no Coastal Hazard Assessment done on the flooding development site. This is a statutory requirement, as pointed out by hydraulic expert, Matthew Hayes, in his review of the developers hydraulic report. The community know that the flooding risks to life and property are far greater than stated in the developers report. This is a blatant disregard of the risks to life and property on this floodplain site, which is less than 5 meters above sea level and 250 meters from the ocean.

- The developers have not submitted detailed plans of the intersection of Old Coach Road and Great Ocean Road. As it turns out, it is to be built on private land and they can’t bully the landholder to sell. So, a completely new intersection has to be re-designed. These plans should be submitted and endorsed by Corangamite Shire in conjunction with VicRoads, before the development starts.

- There is not enough parking on site for visitors, staff or buses, as planning requires this to be outside the 1/100 year flood area. This has not been addressed.

- They have also not addressed where their potable water will come from,

- and they still plan to truck out their raw sewerage along the Great Ocean Road past the 12 Apostles. This will mean, on average, 4-7 40 tonne semitrailer tankers PER DAY, with more in the peak when the Great Ocean Road is already mayhem with tourists.

The developer has not been able to comply with these and other conditions of the planning permit/VCAT order, which justifies what the community have said all along – this is the wrong site, build it somewhere else around Princetown.

The community are not against development in the area, this is just an inappropriate site. The risks to life, property and the environment have been ignored by the developers and the responsible authorities.

This is far from over as the community will most likely be taking it back to VCAT if the Corangamite Shire do not hold them accountable.

This planned resort on the floodplain of the Gellibrand River estuary:

• is contrary to the agreed vision for Princetown described in the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan;

• will alter the hydrology of the area;

• would impact on rare and threatened wildlife and ecological communities;

• requires sewerage to be trucked from the resort to who-knows-where.

• Will create serious risk to life and property

The community are also concerned about the recent use of public funding which seems to have been misused in this case. $650,000 was given to the proposed development in February 2016, 10 months before a permit was granted. It was supposed to be used within 6 months. A further $700,000 is promised once they begin the development, as well as $700,000 towards a bridge upgrade.

This is madness. Please continue to share the story and hopefully some justice will be served.

  • Graham Burge 
    • 100 $ 
    • 9 mos
  • Doreen Burge 
    • 100 $ 
    • 9 mos
  • Sue Connor 
    • 100 $ 
    • 11 mos
  • Julie Harris 
    • 20 $ 
    • 11 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • 50 $ 
    • 11 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Princetown Wetlands Estuary Preservation Group 
Organizer
Waarre VIC
Lynda Avery 
Beneficiary