A PUSH has begun to reinstate Tower Hill as a national park.
The iconic tourist attraction is currently classed as a state game reserve.
It was declared a national park in 1892 but its status was changed to a state game reserve in the 1960s.
The campaign to re-badge the landmark is being lead by the Friends of Tower Hill group.
Coordinator of the group, Daf Hester, said a strong case would be mounted for the change.
“We believe the time has come for Tower Hill’s outstanding geology to be given the recognition it deserves,” Ms Hester said.
“Along with being unique in Australia as the largest nested maar volcano on the continent, it is an important haven for wildlife and a increasingly important visitor destination in the south-west.
“More than 200,000 visitors come to Tower Hill each year to marvel at the geology and to enjoy close encounters with Australian wildlife.”
Ms Hester said the reclassification of Tower Hill would give better access to funding streams.
She said extra funding would help maintain and grow Tower Hill’s appeal.
“National park status would protect the native flora and fauna,” she said.
“The increased resourcing that comes with being a national park would help control the pest animals and plants that remain an ongoing challenge at Tower Hill.
“National park status will also help preserve and enhance the experience for the growing domestic and international visitors to Tower Hill.”
The Friends of Tower Hill have struck a petition that calls for the change to a national park.
Ms Hester is encouraging members of the public to sign the petition, which is avaiable at the Tower Hill Visitor Centre and businesses in Koroit and Port Fairy.
Ms Hester said the group has secured some high level support for the push.
“Member for Western Victoria James Purcell is assisting with the petition and will table it in the Victorian parliament in September,” she said.
One step needed for the reclassification would be the banning of duck shooting in Tower Hill, which currently is allowed as part of the state game reserve title.
The Tower Hill Visitor Centre is ran by the Aboriginal Cooperative.
National park status would protect the native flora and fauna.Daf Hester