The Andrews Government has been handed a fantastic opportunity to create much-needed new national parks for Victoria.
58,000 hectares of forest and woodlands in the central west of the state, and the 380 threatened species that live in them (including the Powerful Owl, pictured), could be better protected if the Andrews Government agrees to final recommendations released today by the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC).
We need to strongly encourage the Andrews Government to commit to and implement these recommendations to create these new national parks. Please send them your message today!
Dear Premier Daniel Andrews,
Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio,
Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard,
Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan,
Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes,
Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards,
Member for Northern Victoria Region Mark Gepp,
Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas,
I strongly support the establishment of the much-needed new national parks in Victoria’s central west. Please protect our forests, wildlife and rivers in these new national parks.
It has been almost a decade since the last major additions to our national parks system in Victoria. New national parks in our state’s central west would be an impressive Andrews Government legacy for future generations of Victorians, and show real leadership on nature conservation.
I strongly support the final recommendations of the recently released Central West Investigation, undertaken by the respected Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC), for an increase of 58,115 hectares in protected areas. These include new parks and reserves in the Wombat Forest (near Daylesford), Wellsford Forest (near Bendigo), Pyrenees Ranges Forest (near Avoca), and Mount Cole Forest (west of Ballarat, near Beaufort).
I urge you and your government to adopt these recommendations and create new national parks and reserves in the central west.
New national parks would be a further drawcard for recreation and tourism to the central west of the state. They protect natural areas and manage potentially damaging activities while encouraging visitation. Most recreational activities are actively encouraged in national parks and generally the rules regarding activities such as 4×4 driving are the same in national parks as in state forests.
The reserve system has been carefully planned with a mix of parks including almost 20,000 hectares of regional parks to allow almost all recreation activities and firewood collection.
National Parks are great for both people and nature, as the Victorian parks estate contributes $2.1 billion annually to the Victorian economy through park tourism, and supports 20,000 jobs.
These forests have incredible natural value. They will protect our water supply, including seven significant headwaters of important rivers including the Moorabool, Werribee, Lerderderg, Maribyrnong, and Wimmera rivers, and 380 threatened species, such as the Powerful Owl and the Greater Glider.
I strongly encourage the Andrews Government to go forward and implement these much needed new parks, an impressive legacy for our state, as soon as possible.