Right now, pockets of habitat critical to the survival of Melbourne's native wildlife are under increasing pressure from property developers.
For the past two years the Victorian and federal governments have been planning for new urban growth corridors in Melbourne's north, west and south-east. It's now crunch time.
The Federal Government must soon sign off on plans to protect several nationally threatened species in these areas, and the State Government is expected to sign off on growth corridor plans.
We expect thousands of hectares of habitat to be destroyed for urban development, but some critical habitat areas must be set aside to allow native species to survive. The VNPA and groups such as the Friends of Merri Creek have put in a detailed submission on this.
Politicians are coming under pressure to reduce areas set aside for conservation. Some developers want this land for more houses and profits, not for nature.
Yet many of the proposed conservation areas will not just be homes for native plants and animals; they will also offer recreation space for people, and protect creeks for water quality and flood control.
We must get this planning right for both people and nature.
It's expected that the State Government, via the Growth Areas Authority, will consider submissions before producing plans for signoff from the Federal Government in the next few months.
Without strong conditions from the Commonwealth that ensure a clear commitment from Victoria to implement the proposed conservation plans, the liveability of Melbourne, and the future of its wildlife, could well be at risk.
Help protect habitats and wildlife in Melbourne's urban growth areas! Find out how by visiting bandicootbackflip.vnpa.org.au