Victoria’s Sustainability Awards a Must for Certified Operators

Finalist in last year’s Premier’s Sustainability Awards, Phillip Island Nature Parks, is urging other Ecotourism Australia certified tourism operators to enter this year’s awards program, saying “it’s a great opportunity to be recognised for this important work.”

Phillip Island Nature Parks, Victoria’s most visited tourist attraction, was a finalist in the Environmental Protection category for its work saving the Summerland Peninsula, home of the world famous Little Penguin colony.

“Being recognised by these prestigious awards as a major tourist attraction with a commitment to sustainability has been great for our 200 permanent staff, our Phillip Island community and our status as a national and international destination,” says Nicoleta Giurgiu, Sales & Marketing Manager, Phillip Island Nature Park.

“We invest a substantial amount of money on national and international promotion. These awards acknowledge our commitment to the safety and protection of the penguins that so many people from Australia and around the world come to see.”

awards penguinsIn the 1980’s, the future of the penguin population was uncertain. A housing estate on the peninsula presented many dangers to the colony. Little Penguins were being killed by cars, foxes, dogs and feral cats. Their habitat was being destroyed by houses, fire and weed invasion.

In conjunction with the State Government, the Penguin Protection Plan was developed and launched in 1985. This paper included a raft of measures to protect the Little Penguins and their habitat, including road closures, fox control and a buy back of the housing estate to reclaim the peninsula for the penguins. The program was completed in 2012 and the Summerland Peninsula is now protected.

The Premier’s Sustainability Awards showcase organisations, institutions, businesses, community groups and individuals who demonstrate practical efforts to reduce their everyday environmental impact.

Entries are welcome in nine categories including Tourism and a new category for 2014, Cleaner Yarra and Bay.

CEO of Sustainability Victoria Stan Krpan said the awards are a great way to recognise and celebrate leadership in sustainability.

“The Premier’s Sustainability Awards are the most prestigious environmental awards in the state.”

“Finalists and winners receive valuable recognition from the Victorian government, their communities and customers. They can use their involvement in the program to demonstrate a genuine and practical commitment to sustainability and gain a competitive business advantage.”

This year the awards provide even more opportunities for recognition.  The categories are: Cleaner Yarra and Bay, Community, Education, Environmental Protection, Infrastructure and Buildings, Innovative Products or Services, Large Business, Small and Medium Enterprises, and Tourism.

The Premier’s Sustainability Awards are managed by Sustainability Victoria on behalf of the Victorian Government and the Premier of Victoria.

Entries close on Monday 2 June.

Visit www.sustainabilityawards.vic.gov.au for entry criteria and kits, queries and information sessions.

For media queries, contact: 
Catherine Newell, 0423 587 478, cath4@iinet.net.au
Erin Reeve, 0437 309 891, erin.reeve@sustainability.vic.gov.au

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