In one of the most cleared regions of the most cleared state is an oasis of native vegetation – the Western Port Woodlands.
And the former Holden Proving Ground is its largest and most intact remnant woodland.
Our new report found these connected patches of bush along the Bass Coast are critical for many threatened and endangered native plants and animals such as the Southern Brown Bandicoot.
The tragedy? This wildlife corridor is under threat from industrial sand mining. The opportunity? The Proving Ground site is up for sale.
We need to call on the Victorian Government to purchase the Proving Ground and protect the Western Port Woodlands from the ravages of industrial sand mining.
We’ll send the following message on your behalf. You can include your own words for more impact.
Dear Minister Stitt,
I write to you concerning the Western Port Woodlands. This corridor of native vegetation on the Bass Coast stretches from Lang Lang to Grantville and is vital for a plethora of state and Commonwealth listed endangered and threatened species, such as the Southern Brown Bandicoot, Tea-tree Fingers fungus and Strzelecki Gum, to name a few.
Right now an exciting opportunity presents itself with the former Holden Proving Ground being put on the market by VinFast, and the rare and brief chance for the Victorian Government to acquire the site for biodiversity conservation and public recreation purposes.
Analysis by the Victorian National Parks Association and community group Save Western Port Woodlands in its report Western Port Woodlands: Sand Pit or Wildlife Corridor? (2021) found the corridor is habitat for a raft of threatened and endangered species and Ecological Vegetation Classes.
The presence of these rare plants and animals is an indication of the conservation significance of the wildlife corridor and the importance of maintaining or improving its integrity and connectivity.
The former Holden Proving Ground site represents the largest and most intact block of remnant bushland in the corridor, with four connecting land parcels totalling 869.6 hectares. Situated centrally within a string of small conservation reserves, the property provides crucial connectivity of native vegetation and supports suitable habitat for threatened species.
Analysis of the entire corridor found a disturbing occurrence of sand mining operations planned that will threaten the viability of populations of Powerful Owl, Southern Brown Bandicoot, White-Footed Dunnart and Tea-tree Fingers fungus. Maintaining this wildlife corridor and not severing it for sand mining is critical for their existence in this region.
The corridor is on the Gippsland Plain, which is one of Victoria’s most cleared bioregions (VEAC 2011), with less than 1% of the area’s native vegetation intact.
I am calling on you to acquire the former Holden Proving Ground and protect this significant patch of the Western Port Woodlands for all Victorians and visitors to enjoy as a ‘Gateway to the Bass Coast’, while also helping secure the future of the unique and iconic wildlife that call them home.
I also call on you to cease granting Work Authorities in areas with remnant native vegetation between Lang Lang and Grantville to maintain the integrity of the wildlife corridor.