By Terry Tovey - Warrandyte Community Association President
Nillumbik’s Draft Green Wedge Management Plan 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.
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