If you live in Nillumbik, you live in the Green Wedge shire. Many Nillumbik residents love where they live because of the bush, and the wildlife in it. But most residents are unaware that Council is reviewing how the Green Wedge is protected. Without people like you caring and sharing your voice, the Green Wedge could become increasingly threatened by over-development and poor protections.
Who are we? We’re concerned locals who want to see the Green Wedge better protected for future generations, and believe this is an unmissable opportunity to engage the community in saving Nillumbik's green spaces.
Nillumbik was formed in 1994 as a conservation shire with our green wedge as its focus. “Green wedges” are non-urban areas that surround the built-up areas of metropolitan Melbourne. They have been well defined in Melbourne's planning policies since 1966 and are intended for conservation, agriculture, recreation, low impact tourism and important functions such as water storage. Nillumbik's green wedge is one of twelve.
Nillumbik's green wedge is the most intact of all twelve wedges, mainly because the local community has defended it with great passion when threats have arisen. Although it is the most intact, it is under the same pressures that other wedges have degraded under. Victoria has experienced extensive biodiversity loss over the past two centuries due to land clearing, pests, land development, water pollution and climate change. This loss impacts on the future health, wealth and prosperity of all Victorian communities. The need to protect remaining indigenous biodiversity is an urgent one. In Victoria, approximately 4,000 habitat hectares of native vegetation continues to be lost every year.
Nillumbik's current Council is reviewing the shire's Green Wedge Management Plan (GWMP). The original GWMP was finalised in 2010 and was a fifteen year plan. Council's latest review got underway in early 2018. It's been a lengthy process costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Between May and August 2018 a community engagement process was undertaken. An independently recruited community panel of ordinary Nillumbik residents presented their recommendations to Council last November. Both the community and the panel strongly support strengthened protections, and the restoration of our Green Wedge. Since then Council has been preparing a new draft GWMP, which will come before Council on June 25 2019.
On June 25 2019, the new GWMP will come before Council. The community has the opportunity to examine the rewritten plan and - from July 1st - make submissions in response. As there are many pro development pressures in play with this review, it’s vital that Council hears from as many Nillumbik community members as possible. Most Nillumbik residents love the green spaces in their shire and want to see it protected for future generations. If this is how you feel, you should use your voice and make a submission before the 11th of August.
Spending time in nature reduces stress levels, and exposure to it keeps kids bright and healthy. Nillumbik is the Green Wedge shire, many of us live here precisely because it is green, and we want to keep it that way.
The Green Wedge doesn't just protect wilderness; but agricultural land, too. The health of agricultural land depends on sustainable land practices, and the existence of healthy biodiversity. Victoria's future food security depends on places like the Green Wedge.
It’s no secret that climate change is affecting Nillumbik. Drier and hotter summers are fanning bushfire concerns across the shire. Protecting existing ecosystems sequesters carbon, and reduces the severity of fires by keeping the surface of the land cool.
Victoria’s natural environment generates $1 billion in tourism for Victoria’s economy per annum, while supporting 14,000 jobs across the state. Biodiversity is also essential for the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors; contributing $8 billion annually.