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Nature news hub stories 2015

Below are all of our Nature News Hub stories from 2015, 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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Be aware of the deadly dieback

Seen patches of dead or dying vegetation on one of your bushwalks? It could be the result of Phytophthora cinnamomi, a microscopic pathogen deadly to plant root systems easily transmitted by dirty boots or hiking gear.

 Read more


Tourism and development win out in Shipwreck Coast plan

The new Shipwreck Coast master plan has welcome elements, such as proposals for revegetation of areas within parks and on private land, but negatives include a large number of visitor infrastructure projects that will damage the area's scenic and environmental values.

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Citizen scientists key to 2015 Great Victorian Fish Count success

More than 300 people took to Victoria's coastline to take part in this year's Great Victorian Fish Count, making the citizen science project a huge success.

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Government drops camping fees

Christmas has come early for Victorian campers, with fees for a range of parks being dropped in time for the summer holidays.

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Grampians Peaks Trail gets going

As the new Grampians Peaks Trail reveals itself to campers and hikers, we cast a critical eye over this new one-way north to south trek.

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Bush kinder leads the way

Surrounded by Bendigo's Box-Ironbark forest 'nature-based' play is making a mark at Spring Gully Kindergarten with an innovative Bush Kinder program.

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Is the climate changing everything?

A changing climate means this generation's children and grandchildren will not occupy the same landscape we have grown up in. How will we react to these changes?

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Tread lightly this summer

Some bushwalkers can't resist the lure of untracked wilderness, and love getting off the beaten track to explore our parks. But with so many environmental threats transmitted on the sole of a boot, can we still afford to go 'off-track'?

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Bradley Fauteux new head of Parks Victoria

He grew up in the Canadian woods fishing, canoeing and hiking, and now Bradley Fauteux is heading up Parks Victoria. Come say g'day.

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Celebrate Bendigo's bushland stories

Come and hear the personal stories of people who grew up in Bendigo, a city surrounded by the bush. Find out how their childhood experiences exploring the local bushland shaped who they are today.

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Grand plan for Great Forest National Park released

The release of the Great Forest National Park summary report marks a milestone in the development of this visionary proposal.

The proposal to create a Great Forest National Park has the support of 9 out of 10 Victorians and has been championed by the likes of Sir David Attenborough and Dame Jane Goodall.

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Survey - help us build a better website

Our current website has served us well for almost a decade, but it's time to move on and embrace the latest digital trends, and we need your help.

Do you use our current website? Does it have the information you are after? Any feedback you can provide will help us build a better website.

Take the survey


Forest Industry Taskforce Terms of Reference Released

The Victoria National Parks Association has welcomed the release by the Andrews Government of the terms of reference for the Forest Industry Taskforce.

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Mt Stirling 'road to nowhere' rejected

A 'road to nowhere' between Mt Buller and Mt Stirling that would have sliced through intact sub-alpine forests of high and very high conservation significance and impacted threatened species has been rejected.

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Victorian Fish Count is on again

It's the biggest citizen science event on Victoria's marine calendar and divers and snorkelers are already lining up to take part in this year's Great Victorian Fish Count.

To book your spot make sure you're registered with a local dive operator, club or Friends group.

Read more


Hopes rise for end to 99-year leases

Victoria's Parliament is just one step away from passing legislation that will end 99-year leases in our national parks.

The legislation will be debated this week in the Upper House, please let our political leaders know you back this important decision by sending them a Tweet, messaging them on Facebook, sending them an email or even giving them a call!

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Moolap coastal wetlands

The coastal wetlands at Moolap near Geelong are rich feeding grounds for migratory and resident shorebirds, but could be lost to a canal estate developed for an exclusive few.

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Biodiversity under climate change

What practical steps can we take to help Victoria's native species and ecosystems survive the impacts of climate change?

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Jill Redwood named environmentalist of the year

East Gippsland forests campaigner Jill Redwood has been named environmentalist
of the year by the Bob Brown Foundation.

Jill has shown enormous courage and integrity, sometimes standing alone against a powerful timber industry in the forests of Victoria's East Gippsland.

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The fire next time

With a long, dry, hot summer predicted for Victoria it's time to take a good hard look at bushfire management, Phil Ingamells explains why.

Read more

Talks 'n' Walks at the Organ Pipes

Some amazing work has gone into restoring the natural values of the Organ Pipes National Park, just a short drive from Melbourne. Come along on Saturday 10 October for a fun day of walks and talks.

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Mythbusters - in the shadow of Corn Hill

Three separate consultants' reports have claimed Corn Hill Rd near Mt Stirling is not suitable as a nordic ski trail during winter months.

Our intrepid cross-country skiers put this claim to the test.

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Kangaroo control should be left to the professionals

Giving amateur hunters 'open season' on kangaroos in Victoria is most likely to result in wounded and panicked kangaroos, injured by inexpert shooters.

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New councillors bolster VEAC's ranks

The Victorian Environmental Assessment Council will have its expertise in marine, coastal and conservation planning bolstered with the appointment of Geoffrey Wescott and Anna Kilborn.

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National Science Week - understanding the need for nature

Science is absolutely essential in understanding the natural environment and ensuring that the welfare of local flora and fauna and associated habitats are adequately managed.

That's why we profiled some of Victoria's ecological scientists and the invaluable work they carry out during National Science Week 2015.

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Save the Hooded Plover from extinction

Hooded Plovers in Victoria are in trouble. With just 600 individuals left we need to do all we can to protect these fragile little shorebirds.

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Alcoa mine closure a chance for Anglesea Heath to flourish

A series of community meetings are being planned ahead of the Anglesea coal mine closure at the end of August, paving the way for the Anglesea Heath to be incorporated into the Great Otway National Park.

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A walk in the woods

We're giving away five double passes to the new film A Walk in the Woods, starring Robert Redford, Nick Nolte and Emma Thompson.

For a chance to win tickets all you have to do is tell us in 25 words or less why you love bushwalking.

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Your questions answered about Victoria's national parks

Why do we have parks? How are they protected? Can I go horse riding in Victoria's national parks? Can I go fishing?

These are just some of the questions people have about Victoria's national parks and other conservation areas and which we've tried to answer in our easy-to-use report Exploring Victoria's National Parks.

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Locals call time out for Mountain Ash forests

Angry at newly-released plans to log an additional 300 forest coupes in Victoria people living in and near Healesville have launched a new campaign calling for a halt to Mountain Ash forest destruction.

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Mining approval for the Wombat under fire

A new mining approval in the Wombat forest has incensed a local conservation group, which says national park status would probably have protected the forest from the intensive industry.

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Labor puts an end to controversial Pt Nepean lease plans

Point Nepean National Park has spectacular coastal scenery, panoramic views across Bass Strait and is listed by the Register of the National Estate as having considerable natural, Aboriginal and historical significance.

And thanks to incredible community support the Andrews Labor Government has ruled it off limits to large-scale, inappropriate development.

Read more

Find out what goes bump in the
Bunyip at night

Join us in August for a taste of what it's like to be a citizen scientist with our NatureWatch program in the Bunyip State Park.

Read more


Nominate your coastal hero

Nominations are now open for the 2015 Victorian Coastal Awards for Excellence, which celebrates those working to ensure our coastal and marine environemnts are protected and preserved.

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Native vegetation policy under review - again

The distastrous native bushland policy introduced by the former Napthine Government is now under review, with stakeholder consultation sessions planned throughout July and August.

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Alpine grazing Action Statement - have your say

Before the historic decision to ban cattle grazing from the Alpine National Park the damage caused to the alps by cattle was listed as a 'Potentially Threatening Process'.

The draft Action Statement required by that listing now clarifies the impacts of high country cattle grazing and outlines the necessary steps needed to manage and repair the damage.

Read more

Time for Labor to deliver on its promise of a new Murray River Park

Conservationists are calling on the Victorian Government to deliver on a five-year-old commitment to remove cattle from sensitive areas along the Murray River and protect its valuable riverbanks and wetlands as part of a new Murray River Park.

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Shooters and Fishers Party's public land grab bizarre

The Shooters and Fishers Party has made a bizarre land grab for Victorian wetlands.

They want to wrest control away from Parks Victoria and give it to the Game Management Authority. Very odd given the authority is not qualified to manage these areas, many of which are high conservation significance wetlands, waterways and habitat for native plants and animals, most of which are illegal to hunt anyway.

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Vale Joan Kirner - 1938-2015

Joan Kirner was a passionate supporter of conservation and national parks both as a minister, premier and later when she left office.

A significant achievement of Joan's period as Minister for Conservation Forests and Lands was the passing of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act of 1988, the first legislation of its kind in Australia.

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Help us track rabbits in Hattah-Kulkyne National Park

Over the Queen's birthday long weekend we're heading up to the beautiful Hattah-Kulkyne National Park where we will use GPS to track and locate rabbit warrens. Want to join us?

Read more


Burning native forests is not renewable energy

Plans to burn 'wood waste' from logged native forests and write it off as a form of renewable energy are afoot, so we've come up with five very good reasons why such a move should be vigorously opposed.

Read more


Victorian Parliament passes historic ban on alpine cattle grazing

Legislation passed today banning alpine cattle grazing backs up more than 100 years of science and confirms Victoria's parks as places created for the protection of nature, not cow paddocks.

Read more


Leadbeater's Possum now critically endangered

Victoria's faunal emblem the tiny Leadbeater's Possum has just been listed as 'critically endangered'.

With the listing comes a warning from the Threatened Species Scientific Committee - to prevent further decline we need to cease harvesting timber from its Central Highlands habitat.

Read more


Crunch time for Mt Stirling's 'Road to Nowhere'

A two-lane road cutting its way through intact sub-alpine forest at Mt Stirling moved a step closer to reality last week, with a final decision on whether or not it gets the green light now in the hands of the Andrews Government.

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Murray River Parks still being trampled by cattle

A string of small nature reserves designed to help protect the Murray's River Red Gum wetlands and forests are being trampled and polluted by cattle, which are allowed to roam free under 200 separate grazing licences.

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Spinning a line on supertrawlers

Call them what you like, the Geelong Star, Dirk Dirk, the Abel Tasman or even the 'Veronica'. No matter how catchy the name there's no getting around the fact that supertrawlers spell trouble for Australia's small pelagic fishery.

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Victoria on the cusp of banning alpine cattle grazing

Our long-running campaign to keep cattle grazing out of the Alpine National Park faces its final hurtle in Victoria's Parliament.

Legislation to ban grazing in Alpine and River Red Gum parks is expected to be debated in the Upper House in May.

Read more


Parks camping fees scrapped ahead of Easter break

Great news for campers! Just before Easter the Victorian Government decided to give campers' hip-pocket a break by scrapping fees for basic camping in national parks.

Overturning the former government's fee system more than 500 basic camping sites throughout regional Victoria will again be fee free.

Read more


Time to get Otways mountain bike tracks back on track

The growth of ad hoc trails springing up in parts of the Great Otway National Park has prompted Parks Victoria to propose a formal Eumerall Track Proposal, and they want to hear from you.

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Don't let them call Australia home

The arrival of an Asian Black-spined Toad in Victoria last year is a sign Austalia's laws aimed at keeping dangerous new environmental invaders out of the country are not working, and need an overhaul.

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French documentary makers put Wombat Forest on world stage

The wildlife of Victoria's Wombat Forest will be the stars of a new documentary by a French film crew that explores nature conservation issues and the work of scientists around the world.

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Pipis in peril

When it announced new management arrangements for commercial pipi harvesting in Cape Liptrap and Discovery Bay coastal parks just days before the caretaker period last year, the then Napthine Government intensified community concerns about the future for pipis on Victoria's beaches.

Read more


Time to keep Point Nepean election promises

Since being elected Victoria's new environment minister Lisa Neville has promised her government will honour its election pledges, including overturning the decision to hand over parts of Point Nepean National Park to a private developer.

It's time to ensure these election commitments are kept.

Read more


Victorian coastal plans released

The release of draft regional coastal plans for most of Victoria's coast have just been released, giving the public a say in how we manage these fragile areas into the future.

Read more

All hands on deck for Clean Up Australia
Day at Melbourne's secret beach

How often do you get to visit a 'secret beach' right on Melbourne's back step? Well this year's your chance as
part of Clean Up Australia Day, Sunday March 1.

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Clean Up Australia Day in the Dandenong Ranges

On Clean Up Australia Day this year our Bushwalking and Activities Group is heading out to the Dandenong Ranges to do their bit in keeping Australia beautiful, want to join them?

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Forests Forever Easter Ecology Camp 2015

Some of the most beautiful forests in the world are in our own backyard, and this Easter you'll get the chance to learn all about them at the East Gippsland Forests Forever Easter Ecology Camp.

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Stay safe while bushwalking this summer

The warmer months are a great time for getting out in the bush, so this year the Country Fire Authority has asked us to help get their message out about being safe while bushwalking this summer.

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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.

Read more

Nature in the Dark project goes global

Our Nature in the Dark exhibition using critters from the Wombat Forest as inspiration has gone global! The project has just opened in the US with artists using night-vision photography of Victorian marine creatures as their muse.

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Nature news hub archives

> Nature news hub stories 2014