Mr. Tim O’Brien
Save the Holden Bushlands
Re: GMH Holden Proving Ground, Lang Lang
Dear Mr. O’Brien,
The National Trust of Australia (Victoria) [National Trust] is the state’s largest community- based heritage advocacy organisation actively working towards conserving and protecting our heritage for future generations to enjoy, representing 28,000 members across Victoria. The National Trust maintains a Heritage Register of Significant Places, including buildings, landscapes, gardens and trees.
As Victoria’s premier heritage and conservation organisation, the National Trust has an interest in ensuring that the wide range of natural, cultural, social and Indigenous heritage values are protected and respected, contributing to strong, vibrant and prosperous communities.
Hello Jordan, and all in the SHBG.
The news of course is that the Proving Ground sale is proceeding, with the buyer - likely VinFast, but not confirmed - expected to be announced on the 24th.
So, this part of the battle would appear to be lost, but it's only 'this part of the battle'. I'd expect that the proposed purchase (if VinFast) will need the approval of the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) - the land being agricultural by dint of its 'farm' zoning, and likely to be a purchase in excess of $15million (though I think the Treasurer announced that this threshold would be 'zero' during the COVID response period). There may be implications there which could potentially work in our benefit: ie. VinFast may wish or need to divest itself of part of the purchase, like the two rear allotments formerly Crown Land which has the highest ecological and habitat value.
As you all know I have been making representations to various Ministers these last few months, outlining the value of this significant piece of land and that it be preserved and protected. A swathe of options have been presented.
In this time, I have also provided advice and a State Government contact to Bass Coast Council around what they, as the Responsible Authority through the Local Planning Scheme, can do regarding protections. This was borne from your group’s concern that a planning scheme amendment would take years. The information I provided them was their ability to put in interim overlays if they felt there were gaps in the current planning scheme that will have a negative impact.
I am writing on behalf of Westernport and Peninsula Protection Council Inc to Inform Save Holden Bushland that we have called on The Victorian State Government to do what they can to protect the Lang Lang Holden Proving Ground, enabling this magnificent 877ha property to become a National Park.
There is evidence that this large bush area, made up of riparian forest and rare forest bog, is home to southern-brown bandicoot, long-nosed bandicoot, lead beaters possum, white-footed dunnart, powerful owl and growling grass frog. It is excellent habitat for echidna, wallabies, reptiles, wildflowers and has ancient specimens of baliskion grass trees. It is your responsibility under law to protect land that has endangered species.
Dear Mr Wright
GMH PROVING GROUND, LANG LANG
Thank you for your email of 3 July 2020 to the Hon Richard Wynne MP, Minister for Planning, about potential planning controls for the GMH Proving Ground at Lang Lang. As this matter is in my area of responsibility, I am responding on the Minister’s behalf.
Thank you also for highlighting the opportunities the potential sale of the GMH Proving Ground could present to the Victorian Government and the community. I note your proposal for the land to be used for a mountain bike park.
Re: Lang Lang Proving Ground
I write to you regarding the proposed sale of the Lang Lang Proving Ground, located in my electorate.
The site which is owned by American company, General Motors, and was historically used by Holden as its proving ground and was put on the market earlier this year.
Dear Mr Broadbent,
RE: The preservation, purchase, and vision for the Holden Proving Grounds coastal bushlands
I write to you representing the SAVE THE HOLDEN BUSHLANDS alliance (auspiced under the South Gippsland Conservation Society Inc.), a large collective of environmental groups and citizens in the Western Port region, Cardinia and Bass Coast Shires concerned for the future of the Holden Proving Grounds coastal forest and determined to protect it.
An Open Letter to the Minister
The Hon Lily D’Ambrosio
Future of the Holden Proving Ground at Lang Lang
You would be aware that the former Holden Proving Ground (HPG) at Lang Lang, used by General Motors Australia in its vehicle manufacturing program since 1957, is on the market. Apart from the development of vehicle testing infrastructure, the 871-ha site has remained largely undisturbed for decades and now represents the largest tract of remnant riparian coastal forest in the region. The site is currently zoned for farming and with no protective vegetation, landscape or heritage overlays in place, is at risk of development by the future owner.
Submission by Dr Lauren Burns
I’m writing a submission to the Inquiry into Ecosystem Decline in Victoria because the places I love and the way of life I value are fast disappearing in Australia.
Since the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act commenced in 2000 Australia and Victoria’s environment has been in decline. In 2019 ANU’s annual Australia’s Environment summary report evaluated the overall state of Australia’s environment at the shockingly low score of 0.8/10. We have the dubious distinction of being the only developed country that is also a global deforestation hotspot and has one of the worst rates of mammal extinction in the world. This summer we were all impacted by horrific bushfires underpinned by climate change, which included many casualties and toxic smoke.
Submission to the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning from Anne Heath Mennell
I am writing as an individual who has been a resident of the Western Port ward of Bass Coast Shire for nearly twenty years. My particular concern is the part of the pilot project which involves actual and proposed sites on the eastern shores of Western Port. Some of these encroach on land currently part of the Holden Proving Ground.
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)
Dear Ms Watson
HOLDEN PROVING GROUND
Thank you for your email of 11 June 2020 to the Hon Lily D'Ambrosio MP, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change about the Holden Proving Ground. As this matter is in my area of responsibility, the Minister has asked that I respond on her behalf.
The process for the Victorian Government to purchase freehold land requires a thorough assessment of the public land and environmental values, the most appropriate protection methods, overall public benefit and cost.
To Bass Coast Shire Councillors
I am writing on behalf of Westernport and Peninsula Protection Council Inc to call for Bass Coast Shire to do what they can to protect the Lang Lang Holden Bushland. We believe that this requires changing the planning documents for the area. We understand that this will involve about two hundred thousand dollars from Bass Coast Shire. Changing the overlay from farming for this 2000+acre remnant bushland will be greatly appreciated by history as it will, and we hope, be the first step in enabling this magnificent property to become a valuable community asset for the region.
To the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning
I write on behalf of ‘Save the Holden Bushlands’ an alliance of community representatives dedicated to the protection of significant flora and fauna at the Holden Proving Ground site in Lang Lang. We also have a broader objective to see existing remnant vegetation and habitat combine to create a biodiversity corridor that extends to Westernport.
Dear Ms D'Ambrosio
We wish to bring to your attention a great nature conservation opportunity that is now available to your government and should not be wasted.
In February this year General Motors announced they would be retiring the Holden brand in Australia and New Zealand which will see its assets in Australia sold off including properties such as the proving ground in Lang Lang South east of Melbourne across from Western Port bay. But with great loss brings get opportunity.
The Holden proving ground at Lang Lang is one of the largest stands of native vegetation in the area (877-hectare site-2152-acres) and contains 1 Ecological Vegetation Class (EVC) listed as Endangered, 2 listed as Vulnerable and 1 as Depleted. As well as containing many threatened species such as the Powerful Owl, Swift Parrot, Strzelecki Gum and Southern Brown Bandicoot to name a few.