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Anglesea heathlands

Southern Emu-wren in the Anglesea heathlands. Photo: Geoff Gates

Southern Emu-wren in the Anglesea heathlands. Photo: Geoff Gates

 

For decades we have worked side-by-side with the Geelong Environment Council and local group ANGAIR to have the Anglesea Heathlands protected.

The 2015 closure of Alcoa's Anglesea mine and power station and now the delivery of the 2014 election commitment by the Andrews Government has finally secured that protection.

There is just one more step that has to be taken for formal protection of the heathlands - the passing of an amendment to the National Parks Act in the Victorian Parliament in May 2017.

We would expect all political parties to strongly support this very important conservation initiative.

 

Time to protect a national treasure

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What is so special about the heathlands?

  • The heathlands cover 6500 hectares, protect more than 700 native plant species (about a quarter of Victorian flora), including over 100 orchid species.
  • The heathlands cover 6500 hectares, protect more than 700 native plant species (about a quarter of Victorian flora), including over 100 orchid species.
  • Listed on the Register of the National Estate for their biodiversity value, both in terms of their highly diverse flora and abundance of native wildlife.
  • An ecological asset of international significance.
  • One of the few remnants of natural vegetation in south-western Victoria to have escaped farming and urbanisation.
  • Different from any other Australian heathland and are the richest and most diverse vegetation community recorded in Victoria.
  • Significant flora include eight rare or threatened species at the national level, and 20 at state level. Two species, the Anglesea Grevillea and the Anglesea Slender Sun Orchid, are endemic to the area.
  • Orchids are an outstanding feature, from the tiny Helmet Orchid to the Great Sun Orchid. The heathlands are one of the most orchid-rich sites in Australia.
  • They are home to more than 100 species of native birds, including the Powerful Owl and Rufous Bristlebird.
  • 29 mammal species, including the critically endangered New Holland Mouse and rare species such as the Swamp Antechinus and White-footed Dunnart, have been recorded in the heathlands.

 

There are fears parts of the Anglesea heathlands will be bulldozed to source plants and soil for the rehabilitation of the alcoa coal mine site. Photo: Mkie Forster

The Alcoa mine site with the Anglesea heathlands in the distance. Photo: Mike Forster

 

What else is happening?

The Surf Coast Shire and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning are continuing to run community consultation to help determine the 'future land use, water, planning and the long term vision for the Anglesea Region once Alcoa departs'.

This will also involve consideration of land use bordering the extended national park, including the assessment of areas of degraded heath at the edge of the Alcoa mine pit to be used as part of the site's rehabilitation. Alcoa will carry out a process of mine pit rehabilitation that may take up to 10 years.

 

Anglesea Heath