October 4, 2017
Environmental organisation Friends of the Earth (FoE) today welcomed Minister Lily D'Ambrosio's announcement that 1,200 hectares of land, including the Nationally significant College Creek has been handed back to the State. This is the first of 8,000 ha that will return to the state by 2028, under the Strzelecki Cores and Links Reserve. The land was under the control of Hancock Victorian Plantations.
Friends of the Earth spokesperson Anthony Amis, said "this has been a 20 year campaign to protect College Creek and its unique rainforest attributes. Full credit must go to Friends of Gippsland Bush (FoGB) who initiated this campaign back in 1996."
FoE understands that initially the land will be protected as a Special Protection Zone. Forest Reserve Status will be granted in the very near future after a sign off by the Governor in Council. We expect this to occur in the next couple of months. We will be watching closely to make sure that Reserve status occurs" Mr Amis said.
Over the next 10 years another 7,000ha of land will follow the same process and FoE expects all of this land to be reserved by 2028. The 8,000ha reserve will eventually protect the key rainforest communities of the Strzeleckis and associated flora and fauna.
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Much of the work to get this deal through was done between 2004-8. It has been a very complicated process, something not undertaken by the State Government before. Unfortunately, logging has occurred within College Creek, an outcome which was never supported by FoE or FoGB.
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