The government did its part to devalue properties in the area though – beach shacks shared between full time residents and Melbourne holiday makers.
Basic services were withdrawn to the property (which is still marked out on Google Maps) – and residents were not permitted to repair, improve or extend their homes.
Home owners were also reportedly forced to haggle with council for enough compensation to be able to buy a similar place elsewhere on Phillip Island.
The Summerland suburb – which included homes with spectacular views developed mostly between the 1950s and 1970s was eventually destroyed. Construction slowed from the mid 1970s when reports of a buyback first surfaced.
The final four properties settled in June, 2010.
The entire south-west corner of Phillip Island, which also includes the Seal Rocks and Nobbies precincts, are now publicly controlled.
Victorian state environment minister Gavin Jennings marked the occasion as a “vital milestone”.
Since the buy-back was announced in 1985 by then State Environment Minister Joan Kirner, the penguin population has increased from 19,000 to around 28,000.