PARK WATCH Article June 2024 |

There is a bright future for the Western Port Woodlands says Jordan Crook, Parks and Nature Campaigner, if the opportunity of purchasing the Holden Proving Ground is grasped

The largest patch of native vegetation in the Western Port Woodlands, the former Holden Proving Ground in Lang Lang, has again come on the market for sale.

An anonymous entrepreneur approached conservation groups hoping to buy the front half of the property, with the existing track and infrastructure, for a tourism venture. With the chance to acquire the back half of the property (approximately 800 hectares) as the largest patch of remnant native vegetation within the Western Port Woodland corridor.

The Western Port Woodlands – stretching from Nyora to Grantville – are a special place. Spread across public and private land, the corridor of native vegetation straddles an ancient sand deposit that gives life to an amazing diversity in wildflowers and orchids, but also threatens its existence. The whole area is covered by an Extractive Interest Area putting the corridor at risk of fragmentation, and in some areas complete destruction.

A few months ago, we worked with Save Western Port Woodlands to facilitate a group letter of 22 regional and state-based groups to Lily D’Ambrosio, Minister for Energy and Resources, Steve Dimopoulos, Minister for the Environment, and Sonia Kilkenny, Minister for Planning, calling on the Allan Government to help acquire the site.

The proposal is supported by the Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation who stated that they ‘would openly welcome the opportunity to have this handed back to us for management and to strengthen our connection to Country’.

This opportunity has slipped by once, will Minister for the Environment, Steve Dimopoulos let it go again? Let’s hope not!

Ask your ministers to take the opportunity