Wildlife advocates not happy with Mornington Peninsula’s Harry Potter event in a bush sanctuary: hear both sides of the story

More than 10,000 people have signed a petition to plead with Mornington Peninsula Shire to move a planned interactive Harry Potter event.

The concerned locals believe the event, to be held at The Briars wildlife sanctuary near Mt Martha, will stress the many native animals in the fenced bushland, and cause damage to the ecosystem.

Lights, sounds, and animatronic creatures are part of the experience (see photo, above), which is expected to attract up to 3000 people a night to the sanctuary during April and May. Council says the event will bring in much-needed revenue to the shire. Many details of the contract with Warner Bros are being kept confidential.

On South of the River on January 7, Alli Harding interviewed Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Cr Simon Brooks as well as Louise Page, who is one of the leaders of the campaign to have the event moved.

Listen to the podcast here:


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  • Hello – I found the discussion on the Briars today (South of the river 7 Jan) very good but would like to listen to the segment with Louise Page again – Unfortunately the recording online stops just as she is about to start talking. Could you correct this please.

    I found the mayor’s lake of knowledge of the event and potential safeguards very disturbing – It appears they have voted on a proposal that will almost certainly affect the wildlife in the sanctuary and are just taking the word of Warner Brothers that all will be OK on the night.

    This is a wildlife SANCTUARY for goodness sake – no risk should be taken, and the event should be moved.

    I thought Louise put a clear case and really countered the Mayor’s waffle well so i would like to hear it again.

  • Apologies – i just checked again and the full recording is present – thank you for putting this important issue forward.

  • Dyan Shaw-Summers

    As an Elder, Traditional Owner of the Bunurong I am asking if the Bunurong Land Council has been consulted with on this event and if so is there a copy of any related reports that I can access please.

    Aunty Dyan Summers

  • Aunty Dyan Summers, respected Bunurong Elder and Traditional Owner of this Country, deserves to be respected and consulted on this event. Thank you to the Mt Martha community, who have stepped up and spoken for our totem animals and Country disturbed and disrupted by this event. If you want a meaningful event on our Bunurong Country, we can offer a far more interesting and worthwhile event for your children, one that will teach them about Australia and respect for the Country around Mt Martha – which includes sacred sites for Bunurong community.

    I’m Aunty Gail Kunwarra Dawson, Bunurong Elder for the Nannertgurrk mob.