Thank you very much for supporting the Victorian National Parks Association.
Thanks to you standing with us, this past financial year we’ve been able to continue protecting Victoria’s unique natural heritage – now and into the future.
Some of this year’s achievements include:
- Following decades of work with local groups, we were delighted to see the final master plan for Point Nepean National Park! It’s a positive document, setting out a clear and largely appropriate vision for the site.
- And just last month we were relieved to see that feral horses ravaging Victoria’s Alpine National Park will be brought under control. After years of campaigning and countless meetings, we are pleased that the Environment Minister and Parks Victoria chose to listen to the science and lead the way on feral horse management. The Victorian strategy contrasts greatly with an ill-advised plan from the NSW government to protect feral horses in Kosciuszko National Park – so we’re lending our colleagues in NSW support to overturn the plan there.
- We’ve continued to push for more funding for national parks. We’ve helped get an increase in parks funding, but as you know, more is needed. We’re also continuing to highlight the many threats parks face from other pest plants and animals, and fire.
- Along the coast we’re continuing to campaign the environment and racing ministers to change the unacceptable use of beaches at Belfast Coastal Reserve by commercial horse trainers, and the associated impacts on tiny beach-nesting hooded plovers. Horses and hooded plovers don’t mix – and we’re making sure the entire state knows about it!
- We have also been busy advocating for a key milestone in our state – the new Marine and Coastal Act, which passed through parliament late last month. Whilst the reforms to this legislation did not go far enough in protecting our coasts and marine environment, we have helped strengthen the Act by supporting some key amendments. We’ll be keeping a close eye on how the process rolls out and giving input into strategies and policies as they are developed.
- And under the sea, we’re thrilled to report our ReefWatch program saw a record 700 volunteer divers and snorkelers participate in the 2017 Great Victorian Fish Count – from an increasing diversity of backgrounds. We also hosted the inaugural Melbourne Sea Slug Census in April.
- In December NatureWatch celebrated its tenth birthday, and ten years of Grass Tree monitoring in the Brisbane Ranges National Park. We’re immensely proud of this program, which is a leader in citizen science.
- Of course, we’ve continued to oppose inappropriate commercial developments in our national parks; and together with partner organisations, we’re advocating for all political parties to adopt strong and comprehensive nature conservation policies in the lead up to the November election.
- And while the fight for our forests continues across both the east and the west of the state, we continue to work with many other organisations to push for a Great Forest National Park and other additions to the national parks and conservation estate.
These are just some of the many successes you helped achieve last financial year.
Rest assured that with your support, and through hard work and determination, we’re making progress towards ensuring that future generations can also enjoy our national parks and special natural places.