PENGUIN PARADE VISITOR CENTRE DEVELOPMENT
Premier Daniel Andrews joined Minister for Environment, Energy and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio and local Member for Bass Jordan Crugnale to launch the award-winning facility on Thursday, 25 July, replacing the existing centre built more than 30 years ago.
The new visitor centre offers fun and interactive activities for the whole family, including the interpretive habitat space which provides a ‘penguins-eye’ view of the world, complete with life-size grass tussocks and cinematic projections. There is a state-of-the-art theatre, a dedicated education wing, and a range of dining and retail options.
Australia’s largest colony of Little Penguins will benefit from a key aspect of the development with the restoration of more than six hectares of penguin habitat on the site of the old visitor centre and coach parking areas, creating homes for an additional 1,400 breeding penguins.
Minister D’Ambrosio was excited to announce that the Penguin Parade visitor centre will also eliminate all single-use plastics throughout its food outlets, building on the Labor Government’s ongoing work to reduce the amount of plastic entering our waterways and environment.
The centre’s overall environmental credentials are impressive, with an array of 666 solar panels on the expansive roof, a water filtration system to recycle rainwater for non-potable use, increased roof and floor insulation, and double-glazed windows. Low carbon building materials have been used throughout the centre’s construction, including sustainably sourced Victorian Ash hardwood for the impressive laminated beams.
The star-shaped building sits between three distinct landscapes on the Summerland Peninsula, the site of a historic buy-back scheme which saw an entire residential estate bought back and returned to wildlife habitat. The centre’s architectural inspiration and form combines elements of the Peninsula’s basalt bluff, coastal dunes and wetlands.
Its spectacular architectural design has already been acknowledged internationally, having just been announced as a winner at the 2019 International Architecture Awards, out of a field of over 380 submissions from 41 countries.
The development was made possible through funding of $48.2 million from the Andrews Labor Government, along with a $10 million contribution from Phillip Island Nature Parks.
FOR OUR PENGUINS
Restoring 6.7 hectares of penguin habitat
Creating new habitat for over 1,400 breeding penguins
Continuing world-leading research in a thriving penguin colony
FOR OUR ENVIRONMENT
Working towards carbon, water and waste neutrality
Using low carbon building materials
Harvesting rainwater to treat and use
FOR OUR VISITORS
Enhancing the visitor experience over an area of 4,785 sq. m.
Over 1,800 sq. m. of interpretation & public spaces
Modern retail outlets aligned with our environmental priorities
Improved dining experiences with cafe and restaurant options
FOR OUR COMMUNITY
Dedicated education wing with classrooms & training facilities
Boosting jobs & tourism in regional Victoria
Contributing over $400 million annually to the state's economy