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Nature news hub stories 2014

Below are all of our Nature News Hub stories from 2014, to get the very latest stories just visit our main Nature News Hub page.

We also send our conservation stories out as a regular ebulletin called Nature's Voice, so make sure you're signed up for our email updates!

 

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Alpine grazing trial flawed from the start

The decision by the new Victorian Government to end alpine grazing 'trials' brings to and end a process that was flawed from the start.

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End to alpine grazing 'trial' an early Christmas present

We couldn't have asked for a better Christmas present than cancelling the cattle grazing 'trial' in Victoria's Alpine National Park, and that's exactly what the new Andrews Labor Government has promised to do.

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Grasslands design guide wins national award

Our Start with the Grasslands guide that supports native grasslands in urban areas has won the President's Prize at the 2014 Victorian Landscape Architecture Awards.

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Labor in power - time to undo the damage

Labor has promised some big things for the environment, including a ban on alpine cattle grazing and large-scale private development in parks.

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Labor finally puts out its environment policy

With just a few days left on the Victorian election campaign trail Labor's environment policy has finally seen the light of day.

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We're still waiting on your plan Denis

Victorians have a right to know what sort of action they will get on the natural environment from the next government before they vote on Saturday.

So why hasn't the Coalition released its environment policy yet?

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Coalition's secret plan to log western Victorian forests

The Coalition government paved the way for high conservation value forests in western Victoria to be logged at an industrial scale a day after it entered caretaker mode.

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Labor and Liberals get thumbs down on Wombat Forest protection

Locals are not happy in the Macedon electorate after Labor and Liberal state election candidates refused to stand up for better protection of the Wombat Forest.

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Last minute deal hands Pt Nepean over to private developer

A deal to hand over 64 hectares of Point Nepean National Park to a private developer was quietly announced just days before the Napthine Government entered caretaker mode.

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Liberals commit to Strathbogie forest investigation

The Victorian Liberals have just committed to a Victorian Environmental Assessment Council investigation into the Strathbogie forests if they win the election.

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Napthine Government puts toe in the water on riverside protection

A $20 million promise to fence livestock out of rivers is a good first start by the Napthine Government when it comes to protecting riverside habitat.

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How to contact your local MP or candidate

Know your local candidates at this year's state election and what their stance is on issues such as alpine cattle grazing, privatisation of parks and cuts to Parks Victoria using our handy tips page.

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Grampians Peaks Trail - where the major parties stand

Both major political parties have pledged funds for the Grampians Peaks Trial.

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10 point plan aims to fix Victoria's parks system

Ten days ahead of the Victorian state election we released a 10 Point Action Plan to undo the damage caused by past policies such as alpine cattle grazing and allowing 99-year leases in national parks.

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David Attenborough backs Great Forest National Park plan to save Leadbeater's Possum

Iconic naturalist and filmmaker Sir David Attenborough has lent his support to the Great Forest National Park proposal to help save the Leadbeater's (Fairy) Possum, while more than 30 groups have called on all Victorian election candidates to do the same.

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Survey shows Victorians love their national parks

A poll held ahead of the November state election has found that Victorians overwhelmingly support national parks and their role in protecting threatened species.

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River Red Gum logging trial abandoned

The Victorian Government has abandoned contentious plans for 'ecological' logging trials in the Barmah National Park.

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Pt Nepean luxury hotel will come at high cost for local bushland

Developers of a luxury hotel at the Quarantine Station in Pt Nepean National Park will have to clear threatened native bushland under the state's bushfire planning rules, a new report has revealed.

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Who logs national parks?

Logging in national parks? We hear about it happening in other countries, but Australia?

And yet federal environment minister Greg Hunt will soon make a decision on whether or not it's 'ok' to log iconic River Red Gum parks in NSW and Victoria.

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Birds and plants of the Little Desert

Photographers have captured the spirit of Victoria's Little Desert National Park in a new field guide that explores the area's brilliantly coloured native plants and birdlife.

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Shipwreck coast planning debacle

A 'pole house' being built on Port Campbell's spectacular headland is intruding on the sense of isolation and beauty of the nearby headland walk, loved by locals and tourists alike.

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Conservation review warns we are failing nature

Our fourth nature conservation review has come with a stern warning - Victoria's environmental governance is failing to deal with the multitude of challenges and threats facing our natural environment, and political parties must step up to the plate.

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Marina expansion threatens Beaumaris Bay fossil site

An ancient fossil site in Port Phillip Bay could be badly damaged under plans to expand a Beaumaris marina, a local conservation group says.

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Murky future for Victoria's rivers

On Sunday 28 September millions of people around the world celebrated World Rivers Day, but in Victoria we're about to take a step backward on healthy rivers with the Napthine Government set to re-issue thousands of licences allowing cattle to pollute rivers and damage riverbanks.

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Locals locked out of Pt Nepean development plans

Local groups from the Mornington Peninsula have accused the Victorian Government of keeping them in the dark on critical details regarding the granting of a 99-year lease of the Point Nepean Quarantine Station to a Portsea property developer.

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Help shape the future of Westernport Bay

What sort of future do you envision for Westernport Bay?

Do you want to see it turned into an international shipping container port with massive industrial development? Or do you want it to become a beacon for sustainable development?

Take our survey, and help shape the future of Westernport Bay.

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Hastings port threat taken all the way to Switzerland

The campaign to protect Westernport Bay from a massive port development at Hastings has been taken all the way to Switzerland.

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2014 election forums - in the hot seat on climate and the environment

Do you know where your political party stands on climate and the environment? If not these election forums will bring you up to speed.

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Point Lonsdale Lighthouse Reserve

Queenscliffe Council will soon decide if it will allow commercial development on the iconic Point Lonsdale Lighthouse Reserve, despite the area's incredibly rich natural and heritage values.

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Greater Alpine Parks Management Plan

Parks Victoria is asking for submissions to its newest draft plan, the Greater Alpine Parks Management Plan, which will guide future management of the parks for decades.

But there has never been a park management plan in Victoria that so clearly deviates from the prime objective of park management: the protection of nature.

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Petition for the Wellsford Forest

Pressure is mounting to protect Bendigo's Wellsford Forest as a national park.

Local community group Wellsford Forest Conservation Alliance now has the local council on-side, and has launched a petition calling for the forest's conservation status to be reviewed.

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Grampians for sale

Victoria's much-loved Grampians National Park could be littered with up to seven privately-run 'hiker lodges' under a new master plan.

If built the lodges would lead to the loss of significant bushland and would cater to a 'higher-yield' market, putting offside local hikers and campers.

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Pt Nepean's Quarantine Station as good as sold

The State Government has as good as sold Victoria's historic Quarantine Station as part of its ongoing bid to sell off our national parks.

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Privatising Arthurs Seat State Park

A visually intrusive 'gondola' ride planned for Arthurs Seat has upset locals, who fear its physical, environmental and operational footprint will be to the detriment of one of Port Phillip Bay's best-loved landscape features.

The large-scale $14 million redevelopment of the former chairlift could operate from 8am to midnight.

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Parliament throws out bushland clearing bill

New bushland clearing laws based on flawed map data have been defeated in the Victorian Parliament.

It's great news for our habitats, and the wildlife that make their home in the great Victorian bush.

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Mt Stirling road development fast-tracked out of VCAT

Plans to develop Mt Stirling reared their ugly head again after Victorian planning minister Matthew Guy tried to shut down public debate by calling in an appeal against a controversial new road development.

The road would require the destruction of alpine forest and threatened species habitat.

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Westernport at a crossroads

Community opposition to a massive port development in Westernport Bay continues to mount with the formation of the French Island Port Stoppers and a scenario planning workshop to be held on Phillip Island later this month.

The five-day workshop is aimed at business, government, environmental and social leaders who want to help shape the future of the Westernport region.

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Toxic copper mine on the nose in Gippsland

A copper mine that would leave a toxic legacy in the Gippsland region for generations poses a serious threat to the Tambo River, Bruthen farming community and the Gippsland Lakes.

It would it require the removal of a rare swamp plant community and 400-600 old habitat trees.

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New parks fees introduced

Victorian campers could face new camp fees when they visit their favourite national park.

The new fees structure will apply to 197 of the state's 680 campsites, including in 11 parks that had until previously been free to camp.

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Caught on Camera in the spotlight

Our NatureWatch team has racked up some fantastic successes this year, including capturing threatened Brush-tailed Phascogales on motion-sensing cameras.

They're also excited about a new wildlife monitoring project in the Bunyip State Park, so if you've ever wanted to get out into the field now's your chance!

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Illegal logging in Murray park has locals up in arms

Trees in the Nyah-Vinifera Park on the Murray River are being illegally cut for firewood.

Morgana Russell from the Friends of Nyah Vinifera Forest a full-time ranger is desperately needed to protect the new Murray River park.

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Public gets first look at Alps plan

Parks Victoria has put out a draft management plan for the Alps, covering five national parks as well as the Avon Wilderness Park and six smaller areas.

Unfortunately, the integrity of the draft plan has been marred by an advisory committee that has been stacked by a majority of cattlemen members and supporters.

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Petition for the Wellsford Forest

Pressure is mounting to protect Bendigo's Wellsford Forest as a national park.

Local community group Wellsford Forest Conservation Alliance now has the local council on-side, and has launched a petition calling for the forest's conservation status to be reviewed.

Read more


 

Submerged in the Merri

Marine lovers submerged themselves in all things Merri Marine Sanctuary recently at a seminar shining a light at the amazing underwater diversity of this part of Victoria.

And although the waters proved somewhat challenging, a bunch of us managed to dive or snorkel in the beautiful Merri Marine Sancturary.

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Vale Sam Bruton

Long-time forester, ranger, environment campaigner and VNPA member Sam Bruton of Narrawong and Portland died on 15 May, aged 87.

‘Father’ of the Great South West Walk and dedicated Chief District Ranger until his retirement, Sam passed away twelve months after his beloved wife Joan died.


 

The next cane toad invasion?

There are fears Victoria could become the site of a new toad invasion after an Asian black-spined toad was found in a Sunbury backyard.

Just like its cousin the cane toad the Asian black-spined toad has poison glands and is a prolific breeder.

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Nature’s Voice just a click away

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Off with the Hattah rabbits

Twenty-one VNPA members went off-track in the Hattah-Kulkyne National Park recently searching for rabbit warrens and bolt-holes.

Their mission was to work as part of a rabbit control program, and enjoy being in one of our great mallee national parks.

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> Nature news hub stories 2015