Parks under threat
Victoria's national parks system is extraordinarily diverse. On land it includes fragile alpine heathlands, box-ironbark forests rich in wildlife, threatened woodland ecosystems and rare remnant grasslands.
Along our coasts are marine parks and sanctuaries brimming with ocean life, much of it found nowhere else on earth.
Parks and wild places are our only remaining source of genetic diversity of native plants and animals. They are also something every Victorian - and international visitors - can enjoy in their natural form.
These parks are the foundation of protecting our natural heritage, yet they are under constant threat, and need our protection.
We need your support to defend our parks from commercial tourism, cattle grazing, damage from feral animals, inappropriate recreation such as hunting and shooting, mineral prospecting as well as under-resourcing of rangers and maintenance staff to manage the parks.
In Victoria right now the pressure has increased.
The Victorian Government has made series of moves which undermine and unpick decades of conservation initiatives, including:
- Attempted to throw open our Alpine National Park to private cattle graziers, this was fortunately blocked by the federal environment minister.
- Proposed a review to allow greater access for mineral prospecting in national parks.
- Proposed logging under the guise of ecological thinning in parks and reserves as part of the Timber Industry Strategy.
- Annouced that national parks would be opened up for commercial development.
- Begun amending the National Parks Act to allow firewood collection in our newly created and hard won red gum parks along the Murray River.
- Dropped the creation of the Murray River Reserve, which aimed to connect national parks along the river and return cattle grazing to these sensitive areas.
- Abolished all regulations and fees relating to firewood collection in state forests, a policy which has been in place since 1958. This means the fallen branches and debris so critical to healthy eco-system habitats will be stripped from our forests.
Our parks deserve better.
We must put a stop to the unrelenting erosion of protection for our national parks and protected areas.
Our national parks are to conserve nature for the future. They're not cow paddocks, firewood depots, shooting galleries or places for tourist resorts or mining.
State governments have shown they can't be trusted with our parks - it's time to make national parks truely national.
Threatening to dig up our most cherished national parks
Victoria's national parks have been created to protect our natural heritage, and yet the State Government is considering allowing prospecting and fossicking in some of our most cherished places, including the Alpine, Baw Baw and Yarra Ranges national parks.
Pest control and shooting in our national parks
Pest animals do enormous damage to our national parks but opening our parks up to recreational shooters is not the answer. In fact it could entrench a potentially dangerous sport and create a hazard to wildlife, campers and walkers.
Development threatening our parks
A proposal to open up Victoria's national parks to the development of private tourism infrastructure could have terrible long-term consequences for nature conservation and would be very difficult to reverse.
Alpine cattle grazing, it's a park not a paddock!
One of the biggest threats to Victoria's coastal waters is the voracious appetite of marine pests, which prey on our native species and cause havoc in underwater ecosystems.
Parks and climate change
Fire and our parks
Fire management is a significant public safety issue as well as an issue for our national parks and the many tens of thousands of species that live within them. Under climate change fires are predicted to become more frequent and intense.
Weeds and feral animals
Invasive species such as weeds and feral animals are the number one cause of native animal extinctions in Australia, are the second biggest threat to river and stream systems and are the third biggest threat to endangered ecosystems.