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Monday, December 19, 2005

Thinking big stirs devil of a parks row

The Mercury: Thinking big stirs devil of a parks row [20dec05]

A NORTHERN wildlife park owner's plans to build a 19m-tall Tasmanian devil has sparked outrage from another park owner who planned a similar development last year.

Trevor Cuttriss, who owns Zoodoo at Richmond, was angry Dick Warren, who owns Launceston Lakes, had taken up the idea of a big devil while Zoodoo's project was jumping hurdles to get planning approval.

He said he had considered Mr Warren a friend and had even suggested for him to build a giant thylacine to complement the big devil Zoodoo was planning.

But Mr Warren could not understand the reaction and said Mr Cuttriss knew of Launceston Lakes' plans months ago.

"Whatever I do at my park won't have any effect on his business whatsoever," he said.









"He's in the South, I'm in the North and this has been on the drawing board for a long time."

Mr Cuttriss's plans stalled last December after residents objected to a proposed 17m devil. The size was reduced to 13.5m but it narrowly failed to gain council approval and two appeals also failed.

But Mr Cuttriss, who spent $20,000 trying to get approval, intended moving it to the rear of the park and would re-submit plans in the New Year.

He said Mr Warren knew of the revised plans and he was disappointed the northern park owner had not told him of the Launceston Lakes plan.

"He told me he needed to do something big and I'd already suggested that he build a big thylacine," he said.

Something Wild owner Ray Green said although all the parks were effectively in competition, they had a spirit of co-operation and kept others informed of their plans.

He said Mr Cuttriss's plans had been discussed at meetings of a parks representative body, Wildlife Institutions Tasmania, but Mr Warren quit the organisation about six months ago.

Mr Green said WIT park owners agreed to work openly with each other and he said he was disappointed Mr Warren had chosen to build a big devil.

Mr Warren's devil is set to cost more than $2 million and would be one of the biggest "big things" in Australia.

He said his plan had nothing to do with the WIT.

"Trevor's plans were public well before they were discussed at any WIT meeting," he said.



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