Plans to turn ‘great whacking hole’ into a eco-tourism wonder

Alcoa owns 143 hectares of land in Anglesea, but has already surrendered more than 6500 hectares to the Victorian government, and the Eden Project would cover about four hectares.

While Sir Smit says their team has a vision, with plans that include a lake with piers leading into the water and huge art installations, the community and Indigenous stakeholders would play a key part in moulding it.

Artist’s impressions of proposed Eden Project development at the former Alcoa site in Anglesea.

“At the moment it’s the ‘imagineering’ stage. What we don’t want to do is say, ‘hey guys we have these great ideas’. We have some major ideas we want to explore – we want to tease it out in conversation to see what they have too,” he said.

The Anglesea project would have a huge focus on natural and “primal elements”, due to such “open access to the sky, the ocean and the red earth”.

“It’s an intensely optimistic thing to do and I think people need places of mystery, and by creating a cultural icon somewhere where things were desolate, it’s a bit like exorcising bad luck,” he said.

He said after Cornwall Eden Project was built, dozens of companies, galleries and hotels opened up.  “It was as though people started seeing the area as a place where good fortune can occur.”

Anglesea Bike Park chair Mike Bodsworth said it was a question of scale and scope.

He said people saw it as a great opportunity but were concerned about Anglesea “blowing out” with extra accommodation, hotels and businesses and “being powered by their desire for development”.

“Most people are mindful that it has to hit a sweet spot that aligns with community preferences and what people love about Anglesea, which is mainly that it’s unspoilt, ” he said.

This content was originally published here.

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