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.
The proving ground at Lang Lang is within the Gippsland Plain bioregion, which is a highly cleared bioregions, withless the 1% of native vegetation is intact with only 5.3% within conservation reserves.i The Lang Lang site forms part of a fragmented corridor from Wuchatsch Reserve, Adams Creek Nature Conservation Reserve, Lang Lang Education Area, Hurdy Gurdy Creek Nature Conservation Reserve, The Gurdies Nature Conservation Reserve and Grantville Bushland Reserve and is vital for species such as the Powerful Owl and Southern Brown Bandicoot to move safely through the landscape give them resilience to adapt to our changing climate. (See attached Map).
There are opportunities to reconfigure the site, with good planning which would protect the key tracts of habitat, while finding appropriate uses for some of the existing infrastructure. The vast tracks once used to test Holden cars (including 4x4) can now be transformed into a mountain bike riding tracks and walking tracks. The main track and associated building could be utilised for other community use or looked at for on-selling as appropriate.
This new playground could bring additional people and tourism to the region, while also still maintaining the conservation of the site for biodiversity values, in very cleared bioregion.
The proposal to protect the Holden proving site at Lang Lang has vast amount of support within the local community with a campaign building within the community. Bass Coast Shire passed a motion on the 6/4/2020 That Council:
The site is now on the market. We would like to see the government to start the process to acquire this site to preserve this last patch of bushland in the heavily cleared landscape to secure the protection of wildlife and as well as opening up this area for appropriate recreational use for the public. There are range of pathways for this, which would be happy to discuss with you.
Please contact VNPA nature Conservation Campaigner, Jordan Crook, email@example.com ph 0401-635-573 or myself if you require any additional information.
Matt Ruchel, Executive Director
Victorian National Parks Association
1 VEAC Remnant Native Vegetation Investigation Discussion Paper (2010)