Thank you for your generosity this year
Together we’ve achieved real progress on the health and protection of Victoria’s natural heritage – and your unwavering support has made it all possible.
Here are just some of the successes your support has made possible:
Commitment for new national parks in the central west!
With your support we’ve continued to pressure the Andrews Government to legislate the three new central west national parks announced last June.More than a year after the state government finally committed to creating the much-needed new parks, little has changed. In fact, some of the very forests deemed worthy of protection are being logged! Thanks to your support, we’ve spent the year highlighting the issues with new coupes and salvage logging in this would-be national park. This included a population study of Greater Gliders in the Wombat Forest. Our team recorded an unexpected forty Greater Gliders, four Koalas and even a Powerful Owl! Armed with this evidence, we’ve ramped up our work with the media, community groups and others to stop this destructive logging and get the parks legislated, as soon as possible. It is your support that has sustained our momentum to secure this commitment for wildlife, nature and communities. These parks still need to be formally legislated – we’ll be in touch to let you know our next steps for this campaign to ensure we get the best outcome for the forests and threatened wildlife in the central west and beyond!
Big Trees vs. the logging industry
Last year, with your help, the campaign to end native forest logging in Victoria grew and caught the outraged attention of the public. As 2021 came to a close, the damning allegations about VicForests’ involvement in stalking, intimidating and harming community activists came to light. At the same time, the government announced a funding package to support workers trying to leave the industry early – surely an indication that the current 2030 deadline is too far away for workers, the industry, and our forests.
This year, we’ve continued our advocacy to bring forward the phase-out of native forest logging in line with economic and ecological evidence that protecting native forests is better for wildlife, the planet, and regional jobs. This included the release of our Big Trees of the Wellsford Forest report, which brought together experts and a huge volume of data to analyse the threats to big old trees in Victoria. And on March 2nd, two of the Wellsford Big Trees were listed on the National Trust’s National Register of Significant Trees!
Holding government to account and promoting institutional reforms
Threats to natural areas also come from inadequate policies and legislation. Thanks to your support, this year we’ve promoted reform of laws and institutions, to reduce threats and protect ecosystem integrity.
In December, the Legislative Council’s Environment and Planning Committee released their Ecosystem Decline Inquiry findings. With the support of the VNPA community, we made a comprehensive submission (as did many within our community). The final report included a total of 74 recommendations, 21 of which were largely recommendations we made! Thanks to your support, we’ll hold government accountable and press for these to be acted upon.
Yarra Ranges National Park thrown under the mountain bike
Your support empowered our team to conduct a comprehensive defence of the National Parks Act to highlight the flawed proposal to build a mountain bike highway through critically endangered habitat in the Yarra Ranges National Park.
With your backing, our team were able to fully understand all the potential threats the project may pose to the national park and those plants and animals that depend upon it. You made it possible for us to analyse the project’s lengthy Environmental Effects Statement; prepare two separate submissions to the Independent Advisory Committee; engage legal representation and independent expert witnesses; attend the hearings; and explain this complex issue to our supporters and the broader community.
We now await a decision from the Victorian Planning Minister as to the fate of the Yarra Ranges National Park and the integrity of the National Parks Act.
Western Port Woodlands
The much-loved Western Port Woodlands are the Bass Coast region’s largest remnant of native bushland, and they are still under threat from industrial sand mining. Together with local group Save Western Port Woodlands, we prepared a detailed report that proves the Woodlands are home to rare and threatened native wildlife, like Southern Brown Bandicoots, Powerful Owls, rare orchids, reptiles, and fungi.
Your support meant we could respond to the government’s disappointing draft Distinctive Areas and Landscapes (DAL) policy and encourage our community to likewise make submissions. We await the next version of the DAL, which we hope will recognise and value the importance of the Woodlands.
Guarding our grasslands
We have been hosting the Facilitator for the Grassy Plains Network for more than 12 months – and our partnership is reaping rewards!
In a victory as rare as the Spiny Riceflower, the Grassy Plains Network saved the endangered Ajax Road Grassland from destruction! The Grassy Plains Network won their Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) case against the private developer proposing to erase and subdivide one of Melbourne’s last surviving critically endangered grasslands.
We’re proud to be working with the Grassy Plains Network to protect one of our most threatened ecosystems from complete destruction.
Getting out into nature
When safe to do so, we have again offered many ways for the community to get involved with our work through citizen science programs and activities on land and along our coasts. We also offered webinars and online resources for the community to engage with nature from home during the coronavirus pandemic.
Our Life After Fire citizen science project continues to monitor post-fire wildlife survival on public and private land. Using wildlife cameras, audio recorders, spotlighting and scat surveys we have recorded a range of wildlife persisting in areas recovering from fire across 32 research sites in national parks, state forests, and private properties. We have supported habitat recovery through the distribution of nest boxes and indigenous plants, and by trialling the use of a ‘bandicoot bungalow’ to quickly provide safe nesting sites for endangered Southern Brown Bandicoots.
During the pandemic, our community has recognised the incredible benefit of having wild places and wildlife on our doorstep. Our activities sheets have continued to inspire families to discover and learn about the nature around them.
The Great Victorian Fish Count and Sea Slug Census continues to engage hundreds of marine lovers across the state in marine citizen science. Our Marine Life of Victoria project continues to document marine biodiversity through photography. To date, over 20,000 images of 1,200 species have been contributed by 130 people. These records contribute to conservation science at the highest level.
The team is also tackling an invasive pest seaweed species called Undaria pinnatifida – known to many as wakame.
Special event: Trees to Seas at Cape Conran
This joint event between NatureWatch, ReefWatch and Youth Team volunteers at Marlo, Cape Conran, and Beware Reef was a glorious five days of setting wildlife cameras, spotlighting walks, Sea Slug hunts and sharing a diverse range of skills and knowledge.
Western Port Win!
Thanks to a strong partnership with other environment groups and the local community, in 2021 we successfully campaigned for the Andrews Government to prohibit the unacceptable environmental effects of a gas terminal in Western Port Bay. It is your fantastic support that ensured this win.
This year we’ve been calling on the government to secure permanent protections for Westernport Bay and prioritise a whole-of-bay management approach led by Traditional Owners and the community, to support the marine environment and the local economy. We’ll keep you posted on ways that you can advocate to safeguard Westernport Bay and other protections for Victoria’s marine and coastal ecosystems.
This is only a fraction of the work your contributions have made possible.
In addition to the work above, your support allows us to scrutinise and provide input into park management plans, support improved control of feral species, and advocate for increased parks funding and better management of our unique natural areas right across the state – and a host of other activities!
As we celebrate our 70th anniversary this year, we hope you count these many wins as your own personal achievements – that’s precisely what they are. It’s our honour to share with you this progress your investment makes possible.
Thank you for sharing the Victorian National Parks Association’s vision that Victoria will be a place with a diverse and healthy natural environment protected, respected and enjoyed by all.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our team on 03 9341 6500 or [email protected]
You can help us achieve more wins for nature by making a tax-deductible donation at vnpa.org.au/donate