You wouldn’t know it from the thunderous silence in most of the media, but last Thursday the Victorian Government tabled its long delayed response to the recommendations of VEAC on the Central West forests. (see our reports on this saga here and here ).
Here’s an abridged report from the VEFN:
‘The Government has committed to create a new Wombat-Lerderderg National Park; Mount Buangor National Park and the Pyrenees National Park and a number of other parks and reserves throughout the region.
‘The Government’s response comes just over 2 years after the VEAC Final report was released on 21 June 2019. The response was tabled in parliament without any explanation of the extensive delays.
‘Environment groups such as Wombat Forestcare and VNPA who have long campaigned for the creation of these National Parks, welcomed the Government report, but expressed caution that the fight is not entirely over.
‘Government legislation is required to give effect to the key recommendations and this could take at least 12 to 18 months. While exploration and mining will naturally be excluded in the new National parks, this will not apply to continuing operations within existing permits and licences. A number of companies have moved to peg exploration licences across the area since the release of the VEAC recommendations in June 2019.’
Full details on this matter will emerge as the legislation is developed.