We Want our Bush Back!

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The Victorian Government is on the verge of turning Wombat state forest into a national park. This will mean that thousands of local park users like you and me will no longer have recreational access. This also means that many local businesses which rely on local tourism will be severely impacted.

The VEAC noted, “The recommended Wombat–Lerderderg National Park captures a large part of the highest-ranking areas of rare and threatened species habitat. The statewide analysis shows the area to be among the most important for Victoria’s biodiversity with large and mostly contiguous areas of high value.”

We as forest users want to ensure it's protected for generations to come however the area is already one of the best maintained and most important for recreational enjoyment in central and western Victoria. The area has been used as a recreational area for well over a hundred years.

The plan, researched by VEAC proposes that around 90% of the greater Lerderderg and Wombat parks which are currently available for recreational use will no longer be accessible.This  directly impacts horse riders, fishermen, hunters, mountain bikers, trail bikers and 4Wdrivers who love the area and visit it regularly. 

In the cover photo, all green areas will be lost for recreational use.

Local businesses like pubs, restaurants and general stores in Blackwood, Greendale and other park-surrounding towns will not be able to survive for long once the rest of us have been banned from the area.

How could anyone think banning or restricting camping, prospecting, riding (horses/trail bikes) dogs (pets and sled racing), 4wd, firewood collection, fishing, logging and mining, help the struggling rural communities? Towns, communities and families will suffer. This is fact.

Furthermore, The ratio of National Park rangers is ridiculous, they are expected to maintain,monitor and manage over 30,000Ha each and every year the VNPA budget is reduced. Park rangers rely heavily on locals who access the parks and clear fallen trees after storms. Without the locals accessing the areas and clearing tree debris, the firies are going to have a much harder time come summer and fire season.

With National Parks comes the following:
- Closed tracks and camping areas
- ineffective feral pest and noxious weed control
- increase in fuel loads which has lead to some of the worst bushfires Victoria has seen, in turn putting animals and humans lives at risk.

The economic benefits of changing an area from state forest to national park is negative. 

We as Victorian residents and regular visitors of the greater Lerderderg and Wombat State forests vehemently urge the Victorian government to reconsider their position and not deny access or change the status of the parks.

We want a fair and independent management plan with ongoing consultation from all bush users.

Not unreasonable, but logical.

Locking up our bush is not the solution.

If you haven't already joined the Victorian Parliament E-Petition 
And join the rally on the steps of parliament house 27th August 2019 to protest against this madness.

More Info about the rally at www.bugu.org.au