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.
We are grateful for the support given by you Jordan in your representations to Government; we are also grateful for the efforts of Council - who has had a real crack in the past couple of months - in pressing the Minister for purchase and protections. But it's not over. We ask Jordan that you enquire as to whether the intending purchase has FIRB approval, and, through the State Government, if VinFast has plans for divestment of any part of the site.
In the meantime, I would like to thank everyone in our group for the efforts they've made (and of those outside the group who also pitched their organisations in behind our campaign)... we may have failed to spur Ministerial action over the habitat and heritage values of this site, but it wasn't for want of effort.
But we will not rest until that whole corridor of native forest and wildlife habitat is protected: every single twig and every leaf. We have now gathered and continue to gather evidence of the value of the habitat, of the endangered (some critically) flora and fauna within the corridor, and of the neglect by Government - despite its knowledge of the existence of endangered species there - of this remnant forest and the incompatibility of the destructive industry that it allows run loose in it.
To that end we will continue to press for:
So, yes, the upcoming announcement of sale is disappointing, but we're not done yet.
All the best
Save the Holden Bushlands convenor