A new national park

The Wombat Forest at Nolans Crossing. Photo: Sandy Scheltema

Three new national parks will be created following the Victorian Government’s tabling of its response to the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council’s Central West Investigation report last week.
The Wombat State Forest will become a combination of national, regional and conservation parks.

Wombat Forestcare campaigner Gayle Osborne said the new Wombat-Lerderderg National Park was a great result.
“Areas with high conservation values will be included in the national park and areas around townships will be designated regional parks to enable recreation, dog walking, horse riding, fossicking and domestic firewood collection,” she said.

The response also includes the change in tenure for the Cobaw State Forest to the Cobaw Conservation Park.
Helen Scott, secretary of Newham and District Landcare Group, said the group had long been part of this active campaign.
“We are particularly pleased to see that the environmental and biodiversity values of 2532 hectares of the Cobaw Range will be better protected by becoming a conservation park,” she said.
“Our major project since 2005 has been the Cobaw Biolink, working with public and private landholders to improve connections between Mount Macedon and the Cobaw Range.”

The Wombat Forest is home to many threatened species, including the endearing greater glider, powerful owls and brush-tailed phascogales.
A leafless Bossiaea, Bossiaea vombata is endemic to the Wombat Forest. This means it the only place on the planet where this plant is found.
“All these species will finally have the protection they need to assist with their survival,” Ms Osborne said.
“State forests are managed primarily for their resources, which include logging and mining, whereas parks are managed for conservation and public visitation.
“Park management will make the forest more accessible for walkers, bird watchers and nature lovers.”