The Victorian Greens have urged the Victorian Labor Government to step in and prevent a nightly Harry Potter-themed event from going ahead in a wildlife sanctuary on the Mornington Peninsula this April.
The Greens say the event – which will take place inside the Briars Wildlife Sanctuary in Mount Martha for four months – will cause harm to the precious animals that call the sanctuary home and put a number of threatened species at risk.
Mornington Peninsula Shire Councillors signed a secretive contract with Warner Brothers last year to green-light the event, which will see up to 3,000 people enter the sanctuary every night.
However, since the event was announced, more than 20,000 people have signed a petition against the event alongside several environmental and animal advocacy groups.
Deputy Leader of the Victorian Greens, Ellen Sandell, said the wildlife reserve was a haven for many native species including owls, emus, wallabies, pademelons, koalas and sugar gliders.
She said the six-week event would expose them to damaging artificial lighting, noise and high foot traffic.
Quotes attributable to Deputy Leader of the Victorian Greens, Ellen Sandell MP:
"Wildlife sanctuaries are designed to protect our precious animals.
“If this event goes ahead inside the sanctuary, those animals will have their habitat disrupted each and every night with light, noise, and thousands of people.
“Victoria is in an extinction crisis right now, with more than 2,000 species listed as threatened. If the Victorian Labor Government is serious about tackling this, it needs to step in and move this event from the sanctuary.”
Quotes attributable to Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam MLC:
"The secrecy around this deal is incredibly concerning.
“Councillors have been gagged from saying anything about it, while Victorians are yet to see how the animals that call this sanctuary home will be protected for the six weeks the event takes place.
“There is simply no reason this event needs to occur inside the fenced sanctuary area of The Briars.”