Zoos Victoria Statement on The Age article on Car Parking at Melbourne Zoo

5 August 2014

To suggest that we want Royal Park dug up is false and offensive. We are a conservation organisation and any planning that we do whether it is inside or outside the zoo is done with the full impact of the environment in mind. It is this mindset that was behind the latest delicate operation to transplant one of our Moreton Bay Figs as part of the new Predator’s Precinct at the Zoo. It is also this mindset that drives our work with threatened species and community conservation.

The parking plans that The Age refers to (Dig up Royal Park for 1000 extra parking bays, says Melbourne Zoo, Tuesday 5 August 2014) are draft concepts that consider three options for car parking. We have been working on the issue of the need for expanded car parking for the last three years given the increase in our visitor numbers. While each option is a working draft, each one is based on no net loss to parkland. 

At the moment 80 percent of our visitors arrive at Melbourne Zoo by car. However, we want to increase the number of visitors using public transport and this is why we have also been working with public transport operators to encourage more visitors to use the bus, train and tram. This work will continue as our visitor numbers climb.

We have provided basic information to the Linking Melbourne Authority and the potential contractors on our conceptual plan for parking, along with a host of other information about our planning, our business continuity and the nature of the Zoo's operations.

As for the East West project, we have been working on what this means for the zoo for the past year. Our primary concern has and always will be the safety of  our visitors and our animals throughout this process. We have always maintained that we would have a monitoring program in place for our animals before, during and after construction and this is why we are undertaking a baseline study. 

Furthermore, we have studied the Comprehensive Impact Statement very closely and there is nothing in there that has caused alarm for us.

We have met with all of the potential contractors following the release of the Comprehensive Impact Statement to spell out the plans for the zoo.