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.
We understand that The Department of Transport are actively looking for offsets for The Koo Wee Rup Bypass. Such a lot of development has taken place in Southern Brown Bandicoot Habitat of Casey and Cardinia that buying The Holden Bushland is certainly practical and in the spirit of the Offset system; after all the whole system of offsets is to enable good bits of bush to be protected when other habitat needs to be destroyed. Bass Coast Council will change the planning overlay from farming to significant Landscape, Heritage and Vegetation overlays. We all hope it is the first stage for this land to go from land owned by Holden, to a magnificent National Park.
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 from Melbourne and Mornington Peninsula. 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. We climbed to quite a high area. 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. This whole bushland corridor encompasses several Nature Conservation Reserves including Adams Creek, and The Gurdies, and these could be included in a new National Park. It is the large bits of bush that provide the best habitat and best options for providing healthy recreation for a variety of user groups.
The people of Victoria are very lucky to have such an intact bit of bush available. Westernport and Peninsula Protection Council (WPPC) don’t want it lost to an international buyer or developer, or lost to sand mining. WPPC were a key group that lobbied for the protection 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 with more than 50,000 visitors a year. It is an important resource for the education sector. Because of its size it hosts 50 water birds, and 100plus terrestrial birds, including endangered species. There is a community long-necked tortoise program and dwarf galaxis, echidna and microbats thrive. The quality of bush at Devilbend is not nearly as good as The Holden Bushlands however. Habitat has become increasingly important with the bushfire losses of last summer increasing pressure on The Victorian Government to provide additional protection. We urge The State Government to purchase this site.
Westernport and Peninsula Protection Council