Welcome, but overdue: BIDI

Welcome, but overdue: BIDI

Having digested East Gippsland Shire’s proposal for the Jemmys Point Lookout at Lookout Road, Kalimna, community group, Bullock Island Development (BIDI) says there needs to be more scope for long term economic game.
The group, led by Peter Jones, John Munns and John Butler-Cole, say their group is not about conflict, but rather three goals: Influence the project coordinators to get the best outcomes for Lakes Entrance and East Gippsland; ensure the outcomes maximise long term employment opportunities for Lakes Entrance and East Gippsland; and ensure maximum return on the monies/capital expended.
The group says it welcomes the Jemmys Point plans, however believes it is long overdue.
“BIDI believes it has taken a long time to put forward a project proposal for the top of Jemmys point and we welcome the idea of its development. However, we see the Jemmys Point site as prime real estate, the best in Lakes Entrance, for an exceptional and much needed tourist/visitor attraction to the region,” Mr Jones said.
“In our opinion any development should complement the Bullock Island project. We would argue that the time taken to develop a Jemmys Point project is not commensurate with the proposal before us.”
East Gippsland Shire is currently seeking feedback for its proposed design which features a cantilevered lookout, improved parking and amenities, shelters and a barbecue area.
“The proposed project is of no real significance and a poor concept for job creation, as a visitor attraction and part of a long term program to revitalise Lakes Entrance and East Gippsland,” Mr Jones said.
BIDI says Jemmys Point Lookout could be more than a tourist attraction and provide year-round benefit for the town.
“We have looked at simple ideas of lookouts elsewhere in Australia and similarly cliff top constructions that could fit the bill,” he said.
“The Jemmys Point development could and would create a superb viewing site with a construction of a multifunction centre which would be a community asset that could accommodate exhibitions, a conference facility, concerts and a heritage/discovery focus. “Any one of these will create long-term economic benefits for Lakes Entrance, all year jobs, increased tourist visits and increased prosperity.
“BIDI does not want to reinvent the wheel as engineering and design plans for these exist and thereby we save much time in preparation and more importantly expense. These are but suggestions, as there are numerous completed projects out there that would meet the best outcome for Jemmys Point.
“Developing a long-term commercial concept will benefit the whole region. The concept could target specific markets where repeat visitation can be expected, especially markets such as conference business and with a comprehensive heritage centre, attack the very positive education market by simply linking exhibits to the secondary school curriculum.
“Both the conference and education markets can produce all year round visitors. We believe these markets are not in the sights of Destination Gippsland, but are very badly needed by our community to extend the visitor high season.
“If we can attract schools and provide a memorable experience, it is very plausible that these young Victorians could bring their families here in the future. Also, conference attendees could return with their families.”
BIDI believes if the “best outcome” is achieved at Jemmys Point, it could attract “50,000 visitors annually” and significantly stimulate the local economy .
“Arguing that 60 per cent of these “new” visitors would stay overnight and expend an average $200 per person, then revenues would increase by $6 million,” Mr Jones said.
“The balance (40 per cent) would only spend say $100 per person, bringing a further $2 million. In total that represents $8 million in new revenue for the town.
“But, more and longer term employment would eventuate and see that revenue circulating in the regional economy.
“Expending say $25 million capital on the development to create $8m per annum revenue and allowing for a gradual increase in visitor numbers to around 50,000 would mean the cost is paid off in around five or six years.”


Print