Monday 1 October 2018
Liberal Nationals to save Free Zoos for Kids program
An elected Liberal Nationals Government would keep zoos affordable for families with kids by saving the Free Zoos for Kids program.
The Free Zoos for Kids program was introduced by the previous Liberal Nationals Government in 2011 but is facing the chop by Daniel Andrews.
This program allows kids under 16 free entry to all zoos managed by Zoos Victoria on weekends, public holidays and Victorian Government school holidays. This means Melbourne Zoo, Healesville Sanctuary and Werribee Open Range Zoo are more accessible to families with kids.
Currently the program funding is due to expire this financial year. It was revealed in Parliament’s Public Accounts and Estimates Committee hearings that Daniel Andrews was considering axing the program.
Families are doing it tough under Daniel Andrews with 12 new taxes and soaring electricity and gas prices putting serious pressure on the household budget meaning little cash to spare for family holiday activities.
The zoo is a fantastic opportunity for children to learn about Australia and the world’s biodiversity.
According to the 2016-17 DEWLP annual report, 2.42 million people visited the Melbourne Zoo, Healesville Sanctuary and Werribee Open Range Zoo. Of those visitors, 836,000 were children (excluding school groups), of which approximately 554,000 children attended one of Zoos Victoria’s sites under the Free Zoos for Kids program.
This policy is expected to cost around $12 million over four years.
Comments attributable to Leader of the Opposition, Matthew Guy:
“I will keep Victorian zoos affordable for families.
All Victorian kids deserve to experience our zoos not just for the fun but also for the educational value.”
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Environment, Nick Wakeling:
“Victorians are doing it tough under Daniel Andrews with skyrocketing cost of living meaning cuts to the family budget – this policy means that zoos will remain accessible to all.
Labor wants to axe this program and shut the zoo gates on Victorian families. The Liberal Nationals won’t allow that to happen.”
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Tourism, Heidi Victoria:
“Unlike Daniel Andrews, we will keep local tourism options affordable for Victorian families to enjoy.”