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Adjournment: Port Phillip EcoCentre

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) : My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, and the action I seek is for the minister to provide the funding required to support the Port Phillip EcoCentre redevelopment. The Port Phillip EcoCentre is a leading community-managed organisation led by a dedicated team of scientists, educators and volunteers who design and implement programs, with a specific focus on improving the health of Port Phillip Bay and the urban ecology of greater Melbourne. Their work spans across 160 Melbourne suburbs each year, collaborating with 120 schools and partners from business to government, philanthropy, education and research. This is a centre that is locally significant but also is of statewide significance. Its much-needed redevelopment, budgeted at around $5.5 million, would involve a new building to house the EcoCentre, which will increase and enhance their environmental program delivery and their education across Victoria. Port Phillip City Council has committed to funding half the project, subject to state government investment in the remaining half. There is significant support for this project from community members and organisations within the City of Port Phillip and across Melbourne, as demonstrated by the more than 150 letters of support sent to the Victorian government. I urge the minister to allocate funds to match those committed by the City of Port Phillip so that the Port Phillip EcoCentre redevelopment can proceed.

 

Response:

I thank the Member for his question. The Port Phillip EcoCentre provides an important contribution to the promotion of biodiversity, environmental sustainability and community action.

In recognition of the EcoCentre's work, the Victorian Government in recent years has provided the centre with $600,000 for its Living Water Workbees and Clean Bay Blueprint projects. These projects engaged up to 6,000 volunteers to work with the Werribee Riverkeeper project protecting native biodiversity and improving river water quality, as well as investigating plastics pollution in Melbourne's waterways.

In May 2018, the Victorian Government also provided $200,000 to the City of Port Phillip to undertake detailed design work for the redevelopment of the EcoCentre. This design phase is expected to be complete by December 2019 and a report presented to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning for consideration.

Any future funding from the Victorian Government would need to be considered in the context of future budgets.

Hon Lily D'Ambrosio MP

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change

Minister for Solar Homes

 

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