We’re doing something big for the forests, rivers, woodlands and wildlife of the central west.
We’ve united over 60 state, national and international groups – joined by prominent individuals – in an open letter to Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan.
We’re calling for an immediate end to the destruction of precious wildlife and habitat in Victoria’s central west, and for the Premier to honour the overdue promise to protect central west forests and woodlands in new national parks.
Following a two-year expert investigation by the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC), recommendations were made for large areas of public forests of the Wombat, Wellsford, Mount Cole and Pyrenees Ranges to become national or regional parks.
“Strong populations of Greater Gliders are found in our lush gullies and the recently discovered endangered Mountain Skink inhabits some of the drier areas. It is critical that the promised Wombat-Lerderderg National Park is legislated immediately to protect all our wildlife from ongoing timber harvesting and other threats” – Gayle Osborne, Wombat Forestcare
We won’t stop pushing for protection until the day we unfold a map and see the Wombat-Lerderderg, Pyrenees and Mt Buangor national parks written in ink.
Enshrining these forests as national parks would not only provide clean air and water, protect vital habitat for over 370 rare and threatened animal and plants, it would support First Nations joint management, and increase and enhance nature-based tourism and regional visitation.
The purpose of the investigation was to identify the natural and cultural values and make balanced recommendations about how to best conserve them.
“Now we ask she finish the job. Put the most valuable portion of Wellsford Forest into a national park, as her government’s own independent committee recommended, describing it as “one of the largest, best condition box-ironbark forests in Victoria” – Wendy Radford, Wellsford Forest Conservation Alliance
The Victorian Government has found time to approve logging coupes in sensitive wildlife habitat, but not create the legislation that would permanently protect these incredible areas.
Signatories to the letter include national organisations, Australian Conservation Foundation, Environmental Justice Australia, Friends of the Earth and WWF Australia.
Key state groups include the Victorian arm of the National Trust of Australia, Environment Victoria, and regional groups such as Biolinks Alliance Inc, Friends groups, Field Naturalist Clubs and Landcare networks.
Prominent individuals include Professor David Lindenmayer, Rob Gell AM and MP Monique Ryan.
Are you a local group or organisation that would like to sign the open letter? Email [email protected].