Cliff’s theme park, one of the largest amusement parks in Australia, is closing its doors and its employees are being asked to vacate its premises.
The closure follows a string of other closures over the last two years, including one for nearly three months last year.
The theme park has been run by Cliff’s Australia since 2004 and is known for its plush animals, colourful attractions, and free-range food.
Its closure follows the departure of three staff members from its Melbourne headquarters, and a similar decision in July for staff from its Adelaide offices.
The closing of the park has triggered an online petition on the Australian website, Change.org, which has attracted more than 200,000 signatures, with many calling for the park to reopen.
Cliff’s has also faced a wave of criticism over its treatment of staff and staff’s treatment of customers.
Last month, the park was forced to apologise after footage emerged of employees kicking and punching a woman while another employee punched another woman in the face during a fight.
It was also forced to close a park in Queensland in November after two staff members allegedly attacked a woman.
In a statement to the ABC, a spokesman for Cliff’s said the park had been in “disarray for over three years”.
The theme parks closure is a “massive blow” to Cliff’s employees and customers, Mr Brown said.
“The closure of this iconic theme park is a huge blow to the employees, guests and local community,” he said.
It is understood the park will reopen on March 1 next year, although Mr Brown declined to comment on when that might be.
A spokesman for the Australian Department of Agriculture said the department was liaising with the Australian Consumer Law to find a way to deal with the matter.
“We are working with the parks management to see if there is any legal options available for the affected staff and customers,” the spokesman said.