Western Grassland Reserves
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Flagship conservation or broken promise?
The Western Grassland Reserves (WGR) were set up in 2009 when the Victorian Government extended Melbourne’s urban growth boundary. They were created to protect large areas of grassland immediately to the west of Melbourne, and as offset compensation for the native vegetation that would be lost in development of the newly released land.
To help speed development, the Melbourne Strategic Assessment (MSA) identified 36 habitat patches that had to be preserved as Conservation Areas and gave developers permission to clear the rest. The offset fees developers pay for that vegetation removal fund the purchase of the Western Grassland Reserves.
Unfortunately, the MSA and the WGR have been a botched process, where the environment has carried all the risk and the developers have reaped the rewards. Huge areas of good quality grassland are being bulldozed for the purchase of WGR grassland that is often of questionable value.
The GPN has a Western Grassland Reserves subgroup that meets regularly to discuss matters related to the WGR. If you would like to join in on those, please contact the GPN Facilitator
Read our Position Paper here.
- Read our Position Paper here.
- The broken, promised grasslands of Melbourne, Park Watch, March 2022
- ‘Madness’: How governments failed Victoria’s endangered grasslands, The Age, 24 July 2020
- Broken promises turn fragile grasslands into unprotected ‘basket case’, The Age, 18 June 2020
- Victorian government found to have failed to protect critically endangered grasslands, The Guardian, 17 June 2020
- New audit scathing of efforts to protect Victoria’s critically endangered grasslands, VNPA, 17 June 2020
- Protecting critically endangered grasslands, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office, 2020
- Research Strategy for the Western Grassland Reserves, WGR Technical Advisory Group, 2011
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