Cave closure impacts region’s tourism offering

Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell says Government inaction is again having negative impacts on Nelson and tourism offerings in the wider south-west.

The operators of the immensely popular Princess Margaret Rose Caves have revealed they will be closing permanently from February 1st following a drawn-out struggle with Labor Government bureaucracy over an ongoing lease for the site.

Ms Britnell she said the cave’s operators have been struggling to obtain on ongoing lease form the Government to run the tourist attraction and the continual red tape and mixed messaging has finally forced their hands.

“After having ran the popular tourist attraction so successfully for 17 years, bureaucracy has got the better of these small businesses owners and they have thrown their hands in the air,” Ms Britnell said.

“I have spoken to government minister several times over the past five years and I’ve been assured there would be action. But once again this Labor Government prove they are all spin and no substance”.

She said it’s the second business to close in the area after Nelson Boat Hire also had a long battle with the bureaucracy to gain a lease. That business closed in mid- 2020, further diminishing Nelson’s tourist offerings.

Ms Britnell said as the region looks to recover from Victoria’s destructive second wave – tourism business like the Princess Margaret Rose Caves would play an integral role in encouraging urban Victorian’s to visit regional areas.

“This closure will hurt the community and it will hurt the tourism sector – make no mistake, this business closure has been forced because of red tape and inaction from Andrews Government Ministers.” she said.

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