Media Release 12 July 2022 |
Controversial mountain bike track decision pending.
A coalition of Victorian conservation groups are calling on newly appointed Planning Minister Lizzie Blandthorn to end nearly a decade of uncertainty and controversy by rejecting a proposed bike track through the Yarra Ranges National Park near Warburton.The contentious plan proposed by the Yarra Ranges Council partially goes through the national park, dissecting some of Victoria’s last remaining cool temperate rainforest as well as directly over the habitat of Critically Endangered Mount Donna Buang Wingless Stonefly and other endangered wildlife such as the Leadbeater’s Possum and the Greater Glider, whose listing changed last week from vulnerable to endangered. Conservationists have long argued this portion of the track could readily be rerouted outside of the national park, given it is only 12 per cent of the total 177km proposed track network. “The Yarra Ranges Council’s own documents show the project is still viable without intruding into the national park and threatening our endangered flora and fauna,” Jordan Crook from the Victorian National Parks Association said. “After nearly a decade we are all still scratching our head as to why the council is pushing ahead with this dangerous and destructive idea.” “Warburton Environment is supportive of nature-based tourism but believes that tourism should be regenerative and sustainable. The size and scope of the proposal will have significant cumulative impacts that will see a risk to public safety, overburdening of Warburton village and the surrounding natural features,” says Nic Fox, Warburton Environment president. “This is Minister Blandthorn’s first major decision in her new role as planning minister in the Andrews’ Government. Does she really want her emerging legacy to be tainted with the destruction of Yarra Ranges National Park?” says Jordan Crook of the Victorian National Parks Association. Over 10 regional and state-wide groups have written to Victoria’s incoming Planning Minister Lizzie Blandthorn calling on her to reject the damaging track network within the Yarra Ranges National Park, as well as publishing full page ads in the local papers.
Those groups include:
- The Entomological Society of Victoria
- Friends of the Earth Melbourne
- Friends of the Leadbeaters Possum
- Plastic Bag Free Warby
- Environment Victoria
- Yarra River Keeper
- Victorian National Parks Association
- Warburton Environment
- Knox Environment Society
- Friends of Myrtle Beeches
- Southern Dandenongs Landcare Group
- Rethink Warburton Mountain Bike Destination
- Healesville Environment Watch inc
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