The Victorian Government is preparing for compulsory acquisition of agricultural land

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The State Government is preparing to compulsorily acquire farmland opposite the Twelve Apostles to make way for a $108 million tourism development which will include a new visitor centre, car park and walking trails.

The owner of the Princetown property uses the site as a base for a helicopter tour business and grazing sheep, but was recently informed by the State Government of its plans to acquire the site.

Tourists at the Twelve Apostles.

Tourists at the Twelve Apostles. Credit:Joe Armao

The government declined to say how much it intends to spend on buying the 32-hectare property.

The Nesseler family has owned the land since the 1990s, and owner Richard Nesseler had plans for a private tourism development on the land.

Nesseler declined to comment on the foreclosure.

Government plans for the tourism development include a new “Twelve Apostles Visitor Experience Centre”, but the project will also include a temporary event space, landscaping and gardens, visitor shuttles and new access roads.

The Twelve Apostles is one of Victoria's most popular tourist attractions.

The Twelve Apostles is one of Victoria’s most popular tourist attractions.Credit:Wyn Hughes

Liberal MP Richard Riordan, whose electorate takes in the country, took aim at the compulsory acquisition in a speech to the Victorian Parliament, arguing the state’s west was desperate for investment.

“We are neglected in our health care system. Our roads are universally regarded as the worst roads in the state of Victoria,” he said.

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