NEWS 14 December 2017 |

The Andrews Government has re-announced that it is delivering $2 million to better protect and manage Victoria’s eleven iconic and internationally recognised Ramsar wetlands. The funding delivers on the Labor Government’s response to the Victorian Auditor General’s Office’s (VAGO) scathing audit of Victoria’s Ramsar program.

While any funding is welcome, $2 million seems too little to ensure that these large, diverse and hugely important areas are properly managed. At about one per cent of the total $222 million waterways budget, hopefully more funding will come in the future.

Ramsar sites are wetlands that are listed as having international importance under the Ramsar Convention, an international wetland treaty. These important environmental sites attract international migratory waterbirds from as far away as Russia, China and Alaska.

The sites in Victoria include:

  • Barmah and Gunbower forests, Kerang Wetlands and Hattah-Kulkyne Lakes in Northern Victoria
  • Western District Lakes and Lake Albacutya in Western Victoria
  • Corner Inlet and Gippsland Lakes in Gippsland
  • Western Port Bay, Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands and Port Phillip Bay and Bellarine Peninsula

Sites across the state will receive funding through local Catchment Management Authorities, with the funding to be used to develop a management framework to ensure the sites are protected from decline. Read the state government’s media release.

In addition, Glenelg Estuary and Discovery Bay has also been nominated by the Victorian Government for a Ramsar listing – an acknowledgment of the significance of this stunning site to the region.