NEWS 7 September 2021 |

Today is national Threatened Species Day. Observed every year on the anniversary of the extinction of the marsupial known as Kaparunina to Traditional Owners – and the Tasmanian Tiger to many of us – in 1936.

Like any conservation issue, extinction isn’t an accident. In the natural world extinction is a part of evolution, or the result of ecological events. But every Australian extinction since the loss of the last thylacine is man-made. A tragic reverberation of bad decision-making by people.

Right here, right now in Victoria we’re witnessing an opportunity or a tragedy in the making.

In one of the most cleared regions of the most cleared state is an oasis of native vegetation.

This oasis is a bushland corridor called the Western Port Woodlands. The former Holden Proving Ground is the largest and most intact remnant of bushland in the corridor.

The site is the heart of the woodlands. The tragedy? It’s under threat from industrial sand mining. The opportunity? The Proving Ground is up for sale.

Our new report, created with local group Save Western Port Woodlands, sums it up perfectly: ‘Western Port Woodlands: wildlife corridor or sand pit?’.

We’re at a critical crossroads, and we need your help to make sure we move in the right direction.

The woodlands are home to Southern Brown Bandicoot, the Powerful Owl and the weird and wonderful Tea-Tree Fingers (the only fungus listed as a Critically Endangered species in the state).

The Western Port Woodlands are a patchwork of reserves and private land that stretch from Nyora in the North to Grantville in the South. You’ve likely driven past them on your way to Phillip Island or The Prom.

The decisions made today about how the woodlands are managed tomorrow will determine the fate of these plants, fungi and wildlife.

We need to call on the Victorian Government to purchase the Proving Ground and protect the Western Port Woodlands from the ravages of industrial sand mining.

Tell the Environment Minister: Don’t let a ‘Holden’ opportunity race past. Use your voice to protect the amazing wildlife of the woodland.

If the area is developed, there’s no going back for this rare remnant patch of bush.

We can stand back and let sand mining proceed, severing the Western Port Woodlands and posing unjustifiable threats to wildlife. Or, we can stand up for nature and protect this amazing habitat for the sake of our threatened plant and animal species!


Register to receive a recording of our special report launch webinar.

Read more about the Western Port Woodlands

Learn more about the community trying to protect the woodlands