IT’S hoped the discovery of new volcanic “hot spots” around Penshurst will cause a boom in visitors to the region.
Penshurst Volcano Discovery Centre president Jeremy Goodchild is hoping the publicity the recent discovery is receiving in the media will spark the interest of locals and visitors and drive them to find out more about the local landscape.
“We live on the third largest volcanic plain in the world, so hopefully this will encourage people to learn more about it,” he said.
“We find at the centre a lot of tourists who have been driving around and see the hills and craters don’t really know what they are looking at. They come in to the centre on the way past and are amazed to find out they have been looking at volcanoes.”
Mr Goodchild said the centre has a focus on the newer volcanic precinct, a still active 19,000-square-kilometre volcanic field of more than 400 of the youngest Australian volcanoes spanning across Victoria and South Australia, but also had a specific focus on the Western District region.
“If these discoveries get people interested, it can only be a good thing,” he said.
“I’ve been speaking with the researcher as well and she said there still could be more discoveries as their research in the area continues.
“So watch this space.”
Member for Western Victoria and Penshurst resident David O’Brien said the discoveries validated the communities work to have the centre established.
“It’s very exciting for them. I believe one of the new volcanoes is on my farm, but the researcher assures me there will be plenty of warning if an eruption is imminent,” he said.
“I would like to see some more research like this done around the region, and it’s something I will be pushing hard for in State Parliament.”