Government rejects lavish eco-resort on southwest coast

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He had sought to build a 180-room resort with 82 individual villas and two restaurants at an estimated cost of $ 70 million.

Mr. Duff could not be reached for comment this week.

Opponents of the development of Cape Bridgewater. Credit:Jason South

Gunditjmara man Shea Rotumah hailed the planning committee’s decision, saying Cape Bridgewater contained shell mounds, proving that aborigines have a long history in the area.

“There is still a lot of cultural heritage out there that we can see from our ancestors,” he said.

Mr. Rotumah said economic development would benefit the region, but no project should risk damaging the local environment.

He said all projects built should be limited to land that had already been significantly damaged or altered from its original condition.

Artist's impression of the restaurant proposed as part of the Cape Bridgewater proposal.

Artist’s impression of the restaurant proposed as part of the Cape Bridgewater proposal.

Mr Rotumah said the site of the proposed hotel had already been significantly altered, but its cultural significance should trump any development proposal.

A state government spokeswoman said the project had undergone a thorough assessment and, following advice from the independent advisory committee, was deemed unsuitable for this site.

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But the government has left open the possibility of other projects in the same field.

“The committee has not ruled out tourist accommodation on this land to meet the needs of the tourist economy in southwest Victoria,” the spokesperson said. “He concluded that a well-designed, small-scale development is appropriate for this sensitive coastal site.”

The government also confirmed that Mr. Wynne had offered the project developer a meeting with senior officials from the Ministry of Environment, Lands, Water and Planning to find a way to rethink the proposal, in order to that it does not dominate the landscape.

Portland Tourism Association president Dennis Carr said he was disappointed with the decision to postpone the project, arguing it would have created local jobs and generated economic benefits.

“I think it’s necessary and it was well planned,” he said.

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