Nillumbik’s Draft Green Wedge Management Plan August 2019

Fri 9 August, 2019

Nillumbik Scientists request a re-write:

Nillumbik Shire Council has undertaken a review the Green Wedge Management Plan before it had actually expired. Through a lengthy process, where extensive consultation was attempted, the major aspirations of the community and the recommendations of the selected review Panel seem to be largely ignored in the Draft GWMP now presented as the reviewed Plan for public comment.

The document is confusing, but at its center, a change in the management of the Green Wedge from rural conservation to rural and urban development is a potentially devastating direction.

The crisis we are facing globally and here in Australia is a changing climate. As scientists, we are watching the impact of climate change around us now seen in the death of numbers of tree species, loss of stream flow, disappearance of bird and insect species, among other signs. More of the same and a lack of consideration of climate change is not an answer for the crisis that is looming.

In the current Draft, environmental protections have been loosened rather than tightened in direct contrast to CSIRO recommendations for building climate resilience. The Draft Plan does not adequately address environment and biodiversity protection, or take account of the strong public comments on biodiversity and environmental amenity, but gives priority to development.

The business and prosperity model as proposed in the Plan will open the door to the further destruction of the values of the Green Wedge and further jeopardizes the stability bestowed so far by the mix of light agriculture, landscape and natural vegetation.

As professional scientists we, the undersigned, consider the Draft Green Wedge Management Plan currently presented, is unacceptable.

We believe a complete rewrite of the document is necessary with actions for climate mitigation and environment protection placed as the central themes of a new document with real, detailed actions and time-bound targets stated for the management of the Green Wedge.

Scientists :

Bryan Walters, Biologist 

Dr Geoffrey Mosley, Geographer, Australian Director, Centre for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE)

Lynlee Smith, Botanist

Assoc. Prof. Randall Robinson, Deputy Director, Institute for Sustainable

Industries and Liveable Cities, Victoria University, Melbourne

Peter Robertson, Herpetologist

Sally Edwards, Botanist

Doug Frood, Botanist

Dr Emily Hynes, Zoologist

Richard Francis, Biologist

Dr David Baker-Gabb Ornithologist

Dr Kate Fitzherbert, Ecologist

Gabriela  Hilty, Botanist

Michael Smith, Ecologist

Dr Caroline Wilson, Ecologist

Ian Penrose, Environmentalist


Submission sent to:

Shire of Nillumbik Council,

Media - DVL, Herald Sun, Age, Guardian

Danielle Greene MP, Member for Yan Yean

Vicky Ward, MP, Member of the Victorian

Legislative Assembly for Eltham

The Hon. Richard Wynne, Minister for Planning

Kate Thwaites MP, Member for JagaJaga

Jaclyn Symes MP, Member of the Victorian Legislative

Council for Northern Victoria