Monday, 19 August 2013

Melbourne Avalon Airport Theme Park Discussions

Theme Park operators and investors are to be courted by Geelong leaders about building an attraction in the Avalon Airport precinct.

The City of Greater Geelong has held discussions with Village Roadshow and Avalon operator Linfox about a theme park on Avalon's 1750ha estate.

US film connections are being sounded out about the possibility of a Movie World-style experience.

Geelong councillor Kylie Fisher said the potential investment was gaining traction, with Avalon confirming its interest."This could generate jobs, generate happiness and a bit of excitement for Geelong," Cr Fisher said. She has been interested in attracting a theme park for years, initially looking for suitable land between Geelong and Colac. She said Avalon chief executive Justin Giddings had suggested land at the airport, which is committed to introducing international flights.

Geelong Mayor Keith Fagg said there was no specific project but labelled the theme park concept as "a very attractive prospect". "Avalon and the city (council) would be very happy to embrace a proposal that might come, or go out and seek one," Cr Fagg said.

Cr Fisher said Village Roadshow Theme Parks - which operates five attractions on the Gold Coast - were a potential investor.

The group has previously been interested in the region, devising plans for a park called African Safari World on the Werribee Zoo site, which failed to gain State Government support.

She said the proposal would be further developed when Mr Giddings returned from overseas.

Avalon is finalising its master plan and land use plan, looking ahead to 2033. The vision includes expanded and new terminal areas, a rail link, two new runways, a recreation zone and a 22ha retail precinct.

The council will lobby for the shops to be restricted to "big box"-style retailing, such as furniture, sporting and camping goods. It also opposes Avalon's plan to issue planning permits, saying that would remove council input and leave no avenue of appeal at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal

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