Controversial Compulsory Acquisition Program Secures Phillip Island’s Penguin Colony

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Basic services were withdrawn to the property (which is still marked out on Google Maps) – and residents were not permitted to repair, improve or extend their homes.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.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of