Parks Victoria needs you

By Benalla Ensign

Parks Victoria is calling on the Benalla community to apply for a position on the new Warby-Ovens National Park Advisory Group to actively contribute to park management decisions.

The 14 655 ha Warby-Ovens National Park is 10km west of Wangaratta - only a short distance from Benalla.

Known for its tall grass-trees, Aboriginal and European heritage, waterfalls, its outlook over the Victorian Alps, and the heritage-listed Ovens River, the park is important for the survival of species, such as the squirrel glider, feathertail glider, powerful owl, turquoise parrot, carpet python and lace monitor.

Warby-Ovens National Park is significant as it includes three distinct vegetation communities - the granitic hills and woodlands of the Warby Range, the Box-Ironbark of the Killawarra Forest and the Redgum forest and wetlands of the Ovens River.

There will be about four meetings of the advisory group each year.

Being a new group, the program and format of meetings will be developed collaboratively with successful applicants.

Parks Victoria area chief ranger Andrew McDougall said the Warby-Ovens National Park, along with other new and expanded parks, included more than 200 conservation reserves.

“The Victorian Government created (these), in June 2010 to protect and enhance the remaining River Red gum forests in Victoria,” Mr McDougall said.

“The River Red Gum Management Plan that guides the management of Warby-Ovens National Park was finalised in July 2018 and we are eager to work with the community on implementing the strategies.

"A nomination for the park to be considered as an International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Green List park is also currently being prepared.

“Forty-six parks around the world have been certified under the Green List, which started in 2012 and recognises well-managed and well-governed protected and conserved areas.

“The Green List aims to increase the number of natural areas delivering long-lasting conservation results for people and nature.”

To enable the community to find out more about Warby-Ovens National Park and the new advisory group, a community meeting will be held from 6.30pm to 8.30pm on Thursday, November 7, at Gateway Wangaratta, 29-37 Ryley St.

● To RSVP to attend the community meeting and request an Advisory Group Expression of Interest (EOI) form, phone Parks Victoria on 131 963. EOIs will be accepted from now until the closing date of Thursday, November 14.