little lefty legend

Weribee zoo and safari world plans hit a brick wall

17 posts in this topic

http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/latest/474565...rribee-zoo-plan Report questions $200m Werribee Zoo plan July 1, 2008, 7:22 am AAP © [Enlarge photo] Plans for a $220 million theme park at Werribee Open Range Zoo have been thrown into doubt, with a report warning it could cost taxpayers dearly. An interdepartmental committee which has studied the proposal by Village Roadshow for an African Safari World at the zoo has identified a raft of obstacles, The Age newspaper reports. The problems, not yet considered by Village or Tourism Minister Tim Holding, include multiple land titles, complications of transferring Crown leases to a company, potential loss of revenue to the existing zoo, and animal welfare issues. "He (Mr Holding) got sold a pup," one senior government figure told the newspaper. "These sorts of proposals are always more complex and challenging than they first seem," another source said. A government insider told the newspaper the proposal was "not necessarily the most important thing on the government's agenda." The theme park proposal was strongly backed in principle by Mr Holding, but vigorously opposed by some animal experts, local environment groups and zoo supporters. Village is believed to be seeking a 99-year lease and has reportedly asked the government to contribute $100 million, the newspaper said. One source said the committee's evaluation of the public cost showed it as much higher than identified by Village Roadshow. Village is a regular donor to political parties and contributed more than $60,000 to the state ALP in 2007, one of the year's largest corporate donations, the newspaper reports. Under Village's African Safari World proposal, thrill rides, shops and restaurants over 40 hectares would be built. Village's international theme parks chief executive John Harnden said he was not aware of the committee's findings. He stressed that the government had been "very, very positive" about the scheme. "We're very excited and optimistic about the project and are looking forward to discussing it with the government when they've finished their work," he told the newspaper. A spokesman for Mr Holding said the minister had the committee's report but would not comment on the timing of any announcement

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Speed Racer with ads, prints and so on cost over $200 million. So far it it has made less than $75 million world wide, adding in dvd and tv rights will still not bring close to the magical $200 million mark. Which ever way you read it Flop, but this is far off topic.

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You'd sort of hope in all this that Village would be willing to fund it 100% themselves if the need arose. Requesting a large sum of money IMO was a big mistake...fair enough, I think it is acceptable to work with the Government to do things like improvements to infrastructure around the park, but I think its taking it a bit too far to expect them to chip in such a large sum, especially at a time when the Victorian public has been quite fed up at the large sums being spent on major events supposedly to attract tourists that haven't really delivered, and fed up with money being spent on side projects rather than what people really want (Hospitals, Transport etc) If they weren't willing to fund this completley themselves then you'd have to wonder about the confidence they have in their own project.

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Of course they're going to try and get as much as they can out of the Government, as any large business does. In all likelihood the numbers add up such that they'll be able to proceed with minimal financial assistance, and that anything they can get from the Government only serves as an added incentive to go ahead. I really must say I don't agree with the way that big business uses its weight and influence over governments for their own financial benefit, but it seems to be the way things go these days. On the unrelated matter of Speed Racer, I read somewhere recently that it had an $80 million marketing and advertising budget for merchandising alone, so I wouldn't be holding my breath for any profits to come out of it. I thought that parts two and three of The Matrix were proof enough that the Wachowski Brothers can't make a decent film to save themselves...

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i heard something briefly on the news tonight that it looks as if this plan might be scrapped, from what i can gather (please dont quote me on this) there seems to be too much uproar from conservationists that the rides and animals cant co-exist, the government cant afford it and village cant afford it. will try and track down an internet article

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Yeah, its officially dead now :(http://www.theage.com.au/national/zoo-park...0e.html?page=-1 "It's a shame" is a bit of an understatement, though a Village spokesperson did deliver a parting shot:

At this stage we're moving on to concentrate on our new projects in NSW, Queensland and New Zealand," Mr Wilson said. "That's where the growth prospects are."
Edited by Gazza

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well.... that just plain sucks i was looking forward to that park. had trips down to it planned and everything. really is a shame that everyone couldnt cooperate and get something going. hope they put something in NSW though, by the sounds of what you quoted Gazza, we could have something coming to NSW then again it could end up like this idea... just a dream

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....or the comment about NSW could just be pointing to the existing attractions Village already has in place at Wildlife World and the Aquariums. I don't see a theme park happening in NSW for quite a while.

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Funny because I'm pretty sure Disney has shown that joint ventures with the government can work quite well :) And residents and 'zoo friends' are idiots. When that zoo finds itself struggling for business and needing grants to keep operating in years to come they will wish they took on Village's offer. Many parks show animals and rides can co-exist. They are just small minded.

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Wow - they really missed a trick with this one. Visited Werribee Open Range Zoo today - talk about the best themed park in Australia. Parts of this are on par with Animal Kingdom and other international zoological gardens, like Singapore's Night Safari. I don't know how much they've spent on upgrades recently, but the central area is very well themed. I also think you get a better view of the Gorillas here than you do at Melbourne Zoo. With so much space here, surely you could have room for rides without disturbing the animals. The tram ride goes for 40 minutes - the place is that big.

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Wow - they really missed a trick with this one. Visited Werribee Open Range Zoo today - talk about the best themed park in Australia. Parts of this are on par with Animal Kingdom and other international zoological gardens, like Singapore's Night Safari. I don't know how much they've spent on upgrades recently, but the central area is very well themed. I also think you get a better view of the Gorillas here than you do at Melbourne Zoo. With so much space here, surely you could have room for rides without disturbing the animals. The tram ride goes for 40 minutes - the place is that big.

Couldn't agree more, if only!

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