Otway Ranges Environment Network



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State Government accepts almost all VEAC 'Final Recommendations' for the Otways

On Friday the 10th June 2005, The Premier of Victoria Steve Bracks along with Environment Minister John Thwaites announced Otway legislation will be introduced into the Victorian State Parliament to create a new 102,500 hectare National Park to be called the "Great Otway National Park". This announcement was made at the Moggs Creek picnic ground.

The State Government's announcment means almost all of the Victorian Environment Assessment Council's (VEAC) 'Final Recommendations' have been accepted (95% acceptance) including almost all of the VEAC recommended National Park boundaries.

See State Government & OREN Press Releases.

John Thwaites (Minister for the Environment and Deputy Premier), Premier Steve Bracks, Julie Hansen (former Mayor, Surf Coast Shire Council), Simon Birrell (OREN), Michael Crutchfield (Member for South Barwon), and Elaine Carbines (Member of the Legislative Council) holding a map of the new Great Otway National Park at the Moggs Creek Picnic Ground.

To see a map of the Great Otway National Park see this link to the VEAC website.

The Otway State Forest, which totals 92,000 ha, will be disbanded with about 52,500 ha (57%) going into the Great Otway National Park and about 1,900 ha (2%) going into the Jancourt Nature Conservation Reserve.

The rest of the Otway State Forest will become a Forest Park legislated under the Crown Lands Reserves Act where logging will be banned when current woodchip and sawlog licences expire in June 2008.

What has been protected?

Key areas of State Forest are now included in the new Great Otway National Park. These areas include:

Many areas where protests against logging occurred are now in the new Great Otway National Park; these include the forests of;

Less well known but critically important areas in the far Western Otways will also be protected by the National Park. These areas include the Carlisle Heathlands and significant remnant woodland forests left over from the Heytesbury Land Settlement Scheme where about 43,000 ha of forest was cleared for dairy farming between of 1957 and 1970.

Were has all the disbanded Otway State Forest gone?

The following is an approximate break up of the Otway State Forest (OREN estimates only).

National Park 52,530 ha (57%)*
Nature Conservation Reserve 1,900 ha (2%)
Forest Park 37,600 ha (41%)#

Total Otway State forest 92,030 ha (100%)

*Note: in the Western Otways there is approximately 3,500 ha of Carlisle Heath within the Otway State Forest that is classified as SPZ under the West RFA. This will be included in the expanded Otway National Park. The Carlisle Heath area has no forest of commercial value for logging and represented about 4% of the Otway State Forest total.

#Note: about 4000 ha of proposed Forest Park within the Geelong water supply catchment has an informal ban on logging which began after the state election in November 2002.

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