From October to March you will find the forest floor of Mt. Cole lighting up with the blood red flowers of the Mt. Cole Grevillea (Grevillea montis-cole subsp. montis-cole). Native birds and bees a buzz under the canopy of tall eucalypts, feeding on the fuzzy nectar-rich flowers.
These stunning red beauties are one of a handful of critically endangered plants that make up the unique habitat of the area.
The Mt. Cole Grevillea is part of the southern holly leaved group of grevilleas due to its pointed or fern-like leaves. It can only be found on the granitic loam soils on the slopes of Mt. Cole in Victoria’s central west.
The Grevillea once decorated much of the mountain but logging and the inappropriate use of fire has reduced its range by 75 per cent.
The best way to protect the Mt. Cole Grevillea and a myriad of other plants, animals and habitat, is to protect them in a new national park. This way we can make sure Victoria’s unique wildlife can thrive into the future, without the risk of extinction.
In August 2019, the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council recommended almost 60,000 hectares of new national park and reserves in the central west. This included the Mount Cole and Pyrenees Ranges (near Beaufort and Avoca), the Wombat (near Daylesford) and Wellsford (near Bendigo) Forests.
Two years after the expert recommendations were made, the Andrews Government finally committed to three new national parks. But instead of protecting them straight away, as recommended, the state has given the green light to native logging until 2030.
20390 is too late. We need our elected leaders to legislate the new parks and make nature protection official.