There are plans to keep part of the Otway Dinosaurs display in Apollo Bay permanently. Picture: David Simonds A DINOSAUR exhibit seen by millions of people around the world may have found its home after four months on display in the middle of an Apollo Bay paddock tin shed.
Nanjing Night Net

Usually kept in a museum, the Wildlife of Gondwana exhibit has been on temporary display at Otway Dinosaurs in Apollo Bay, but owners will now seek state and federal funding to keep part of it in the region.

With the display closing on April 29, Otway Dinosaurs owners Deb Moore and Greg Denney plan to create a permanent education and tourism facility based on the extraordinary fossil finds in the Otways Wildlife of Gondwana Exhibition.

The couple have committed the past four months to funding and setting up the exhibit, which has been seen by more than 6000 visitors since November 29.

A feasibility study is in the works, considering permanent locations for a museum at Apollo Bay or Dinosaur Cove, about 50 kilometres west on the Great Ocean Road.

Once buzzing with palaeontologists and hundreds of volunteers from around the world, Dinosaur Cove was the home of several species of polar dinosaurs discovered at the base of a 90-metre sea cliff.

Ms Moore said the display of dinosaurs and fossil finds would serve as a tourist attraction and a useful facility for regional schools. “A lot of Victorians would be totally surprised that there was such a thing as a Victorian dinosaur ,” she said

“It really surprised the scientific world to find dinosaurs lived down here.

“Victoria was in a polar region back in the Cretaceous times so they thought it was too cold.”

She said a permanent exhibit would also help the area’s economic development .

“We don’t want a dinosaur theme park.

“We have to be mindful the area is a very special one and any area has to be built with environmental sensitivities in mind.

Member for Corangamite Darren Cheeseman said showcasing Victoria’s unique dinosaur past in the region was a high priority. He said he looked forward to helping the permanent museum become a reality.

“It’s a very impressive collection and I think there is a fantastic opportunity for us to add to Victoria’s tourism by making this exhibit, or one very similar, part of a permanent display, whether it be at Dinosaur Cove or Apollo Bay,” Mr Cheeseman said.

“I’d very much welcome the opportunity to continue working with the exhibitors and the Colac Otway Shire around how that might happen.

“I think it would add to Victoria as a tourist destination… providing another attraction for people to our region.

“I certainly would encourage Deb and Greg to make an application for funding once they’ve developed the proposal in a detailed way.”

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