Friends of the Earth has joined more than 30 environment, conservation, recreation, scientific and citizen science groups to call on all political parties and candidates in the lead-up to the November 2014 Victorian election to clearly commit to the creation of a new Great Forest National Park in the Central Highlands.
Just 60 kilometres east of Melbourne grow some of the tallest trees on Earth. Their high canopies are home to wildlife such as gliders, owls and the tiny Leadbeater’s Possum.
The Great Forest National Park is an idea whose time has come.
The new Great Forest National Park is a proposal to create a new national park and network of conservation reserves: a playground for recreation and respite and a reserve that protects threatened species and enhances important ecosystem functions including clean air and clean water.
Stretching over an area from the eastern edge of Melbourne towards Kinglake and Lake Eildon in the north-east, south to the Baw Baw Range and across to the Alpine National Park, a new Great Forest National Park and network of conservation reserves would be created following a detailed investigation by the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC).
The VEAC investigation would be informed by the broader Victorian community, and detailed consultation with Traditional Owners – whose unique relationship to their land stretches back over thousands of years.
The park network will support regional tourism in local communities such as Kinglake, Toolangi, Eildon, Taggerty, Buxton, Narbethong, Marysville, Alexandra, Warburton, Yarra Junction, Noojee, Yea and Powelltown.
The Great Forest National Park will generate new, sustainable, long-term employment. It will host a range of activities such as bike riding, bushwalking, bird watching, four wheel driving, camping and eco-tourism.
A commitment to create the Great Forest National Park is an investment in the future. It is an opportunity for Victoria’s Government to invest in the state’s environmental future and show the world what fi rst class parks management looks like.
The Great Forest National Park will secure Melbourne’s domestic water supply catchments and deliver a suite of new economic opportunities for the region. There is also potential for a Forest Carbon Project to secure the environmental and economic benefit of the carbon value of these forests. It will also bring back the state’s faunal emblem, the Leadbeater’s Possum, from the brink of extinction.
You can read more here.
- The Royal Society of Victoria
• The Wilderness Society
• Victorian National Parks Association
• Australian Conservation Foundation
• Friends of the Earth
• Places You Love – a national alliance of 42 environment groups representing 1.4 million Australians
• Humane Society International
• Birdlife Australia
• Environmental Justice Australia
• Environment Victoria
• National Trust of Australia (Victoria)
• Warburton Environment
• Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum
• Healesville Environment Watch Inc (HEWI)
• Knitting Nannas of Toolangi
• Yarra Riverkeepers
• The Field Naturalists Club of Victoria Inc
• Indigenous Flora and Fauna Association
• Bushwalking Victoria
• Bushwalking Australia
• Wildlife Victoria
• Lawyers for Forests
• Middle Yarra Landcare Network
- Friends of Warrandyte State Park
- Wonga Park Environment Group
- Jumping Creek Catchmen Landcare Group
- Anderson’s Creek Catchment Area Landcare Group
• Yarra Ranges Landcare Network
- Monbulk Landcare Group
- Upper Yarra Landcare Group
- Thompsons Rd Area Fireguard and Landcare Group
• Southern Ranges Environment Alliance
- Friends of Kirth Kiln
- Friends of Gembrook Park
- Say no to Ivy Group
- Cardinia Hills & Ragwort Landcare Group
- Cockatoo Creek Conservation Group
- Puffing Billy Railway
- Johns Hill Landcare Group