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.
We understand that this week’s Bass Coast Council Meeting will include a call for significant Landscape, Heritage and Vegetation overlays for the site. It is the first stage and most important stage necessary for this land to go from land owned by Holden to a magnificent natural features reserve, big enough for sufficient habitat for the many species including endangered animal that live in it. 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 have the correct overlays on land that has endangered species.
It is impressive to see the area up close as we did on Wednesday 8th July down Scout Drive, (on our way from Mornington Peninsula to enjoy the South Gippsland Rail Trail). Imagine it being a magnificent natural 'gateway' to the Bass Coast region, purposed for wildlife tourism, a protected wildlife sanctuary, a centre for indigenous culture and education, and for complementary leisure activities such as walking, hiking, and mountain biking. We crossed one of the watercourses and saw coral fern, fragmities, tree fern, mixed eucalyptus, banksia and many small birds. Bush of that quality will be a real draw-card for people, and it demands new surveys.
Equally impressive is seeing the area on the satellite Google maps, one can see that it is over a quarter of the remnant vegetation in the entire east of Westernport. The region has been cleared of most large patches of forest. Apart from the bush corridor this belongs to, there are no large patches of bush between Mt Worth, Bunyip State Park and Wilsons Promontory.
It should belong to the community of Bass Coast and to the people of Victoria. Westernport and Peninsula Protection Council (WPPC) would like to see it purchased by the State Government, rather than lost to an international buyer or developer, or lost to sand mining. WPPC were the key group that stopped the sale of half of Devilbend Reservoir. Our members have helped this be a success and have run a bird surveys and working bees there over the last decade. It is now a successful Natural Features Reserve with canoeing and fishing, walking and bike riding. It is an important resource for the education sector. Because of its size it hosts 50 water birds, and 100 terrestrial birds, including endangered species. There is a community long-necked tortoise program and dwarf galaxis, echidna and microbats thrive. Habitat has become increasingly important with the bushfire losses of last summer. We urge Bass Council to put protective overlays in place to ensure that the vegetation and landscape is protected. Please also urge The State Government to press for environmental protection and purchase of the site.
Westernport and Peninsula Protection Council