Australia: Eden Project's grand plans to transform disused Anglesea coal mine into eco-tourism attraction - - PressFrom - Australia
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AustraliaEden Project's grand plans to transform disused Anglesea coal mine into eco-tourism attraction

19:50  26 may  2019
19:50  26 may  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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The Eden Project says the tourist attraction has brought £2bn into the regional economy and hosted more than 20 million visitors since 2001. Its proposal in Anglesea is for an ecotourism project that would be built alongside Alcoa’ s plans to transform the open-cut coalmine into a lake.

UK-based charity the Eden Project has released its vision for a disused coal mine near Victoria' s Great Ocean Road. They plan to transform it into a 0 million eco - tourism attraction — a celebration of the natural environment on what is now a barren site.

It's a barren industrial site in the middle of pristine native bushland, but talk is now turning to what can be done to rehabilitate this Anglesea coal mine after Alcoa closed its coal-fired power station in 2015.

Eden Project's grand plans to transform disused Anglesea coal mine into eco-tourism attraction© Provided by ABC News Eden Project chief executive David Harland said it would be "a temple to the natural world".

Representatives from UK-based charity Eden Project are in Australia to share their $150 million vision for the site with local residents, in the hope they can secure community support for a large eco-tourism development.

The concept plan includes a 100-hectare lake to replace the open cut coal mine and an educational centre, including physical exhibitions and virtual reality, to teach visitors about the natural world.

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The Eden Project ( Eden ), a UK-based educational and environmental charity and social enterprise, and Alcoa of Australia (Alcoa) have commenced community consultation to seek feedback on a concept for a world class eco - tourism attraction within Alcoa’ s former mine site in Anglesea , Victoria.

Eden Project co-founder Sir Tim Smit said it was a chance to transform a "formerly poisonous large mine" into something beautiful.

"We're going to create a love-child between the world's greatest science centre and the greatest gallery of your imagination," he said.

"I want to make people see the world in a different way so that when they go home they see everything around them with a respect and awe that they never thought they would."

It's a model that has proven successful in the past, with the Eden Project's award-winning transformation of a disused clay mine in Cornwall, south-west England, attracting more than 1 million visitors each year.

As a social enterprise, they reinvest their profits into the charity's educational projects.

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UK-based charity the Eden Project has released its vision for a disused coal mine near Victoria' s Great Ocean Road. They plan to transform it into a 0 million eco - tourism attraction — a celebration of the natural environment on what is now a barren site. Helen Coonan on WN Network

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Eden Project chief executive David Harland said the proposal included low-impact buildings which would nestle into the landscape, creating "a temple to the natural world".

"This is going to be best practice of a mine rehabilitation, it should be an exemplar of how to do it," he said.

Mr Harland said the Eden Project's vision for the Anglesea site revolved around the four elements which had shaped the surrounding landscape — earth, air, water and fire.

Eden Project's grand plans to transform disused Anglesea coal mine into eco-tourism attraction
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"The things that people are interested in are the things that are too small or too big to see that are actually controlling our lives," he said.

"They might be in the earth, things like microbes, they might be lunar systems and tidal systems.

"We want to bring that to life in both a real way with beautiful plants of course, but also probably with some augmented and virtual reality toys as well."

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UK-based charity the Eden Project plans to transform a disused coal mine in Anglesea , on the Great Ocean Road, into a 0 million eco - tourism attraction .

A group called the Eden Project has a 0 million proposal to rehabilitate the former Anglesea coal mine and turn it into an eco - tourism attraction . Artist' s impressions of proposed Eden Project development at the former Alcoa site in Anglesea . The Anglesea power station closed in 2015 after

Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne said major environmental and other challenges would need to be overcome before this "speculative proposal" could progress further.

"As with any project of this scale, it would then also require significant consultation with the community, and be subject to rigorous planning and environmental regulations," he said.

Surf Coast Shire councillor Margot Smith said council was excited about the calibre of the proposal.

"It's bold, and it actually sounds like it can really honour the values that we've got in this area around the environment."

The Eden Project says initial projections suggest it would create 300 ongoing jobs.

It's expected it would be funded by social investors, without the need for government subsidies.

"It's early days but we think we've got a model that's going to work," Mr Harland said.

"We're not relying on state funding, there's of course going to be a little bit of infrastructure I suspect around roads and so on.

"Generally the reaction has been really, really positive. People of course have got concerns around things like traffic and noise.

"We've got to listen."

The proposal will now go through a community consultation period to refine the design before any plans are submitted.

With thousands of mine sites across Australia, communities around the country will be watching with interest to see whether this ambitious project can get off the ground.

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