An additional 109 hectares of forest will be added to the Greater Bendigo National Park and protected for all Victorians thanks to a generous land donation by Villawood Properties.
Environment and Climate Change Gavin Jennings today accepted the land from Villawood and said it was a fine example of private landholders working together with the Brumby Labor Government to protect our natural heritage.
“We are working in partnership with private landholders and the community to ensure our parks and waterways can be enjoyed by future generations,” Mr Jennings said.
“Donations such as this help us to rebuild the links between the remnants of these forests and to encourage the return of endangered plants and animals.
“I would like to thank Villawood for their contribution which is part of a larger environmental initiative by the company called the Positive Change program which sees them donate an equal area of land to Victoria for each house block they sell.
“The Greater Bendigo National Park is part of Victoria’s Box-Ironbark parks and reserves which were established by the Victorian Government in 2002 to protect this important landscape.
“They contain some of the highest quality Box-Ironbark forest in the Bendigo area, along with Broombush Mallee, Grassy Woodlands and Kamarooka Mallee.”
Mr Jennings said the Government had a proud history of working with private landholders under the BushBroker system which provides landholders “credits” for clearing native vegetation if they offset the clearing through native vegetation improvements elsewhere.
Villawood recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Sustainability and Environment to become the first private organisation in Victoria to be recognised as a native vegetation offset credit trader as part of the BushBroker Program.
“It’s great to see a private organisation being so progressive with its environmental responsibilities,” Mr Jennings said.
“We hope more companies will follow suit to help us protect the environment for the benefit of all Victorians.”