Protect our Green Wedge Shire
We choose to live here in Nillumbik’s Green Wedge so we can be close to nature. Here, we are able to experience the peace of our natural environment, surrounded by so many special species of plants and animals, all while being only a short drive from the city.
The Green Wedge is a huge part of why we love where we live.
There is so much that Council can do to protect and enhance the Green Wedge and this needs to be one of our priorities in Nillumbik.
What is the Green Wedge?
Melbourne has 12 Green Wedges, which form a ring around our city. They help break up areas of growth and provide our city with clean air, water, agricultural land and stunning tourist destinations. The existence of Green Wedges means that no matter where you are in Melbourne, you’re never more than a half-hour’s drive away from beautiful scenery and the natural environment. It also means that locals can be close to nature without having to live hours away from the city.
Nillumbik is the most intact of Melbourne’s 12 Green Wedges and we want to keep it that way.
The local community has always rallied strongly to protect the Green Wedge and this is why the Nillumbik Green Wedge is the most intact of Melbourne’s Green Wedges. However, Nillumbik’s Green Wedge is again under threat and we need to continue the fight to protect it or we could lose what we love about our home.
Why is the Green Wedge Under Threat?
The Green Wedge is under threat from a wide variety of factors. In order to ensure strong management of the Green Wedge, Nillumbik Council is required by the State Government to implement a Green Wedge Management Plan. Our previous Green Wedge Management Plan was valid until 2025 but last year, the current council made the decision to completely rewrite it. The steady loss of vegetation and biodiversity in Nillumbik indicated the need for a stronger plan but last year’s rewrite made it much weaker.
Over 700 people wrote submissions to Council last year when the Green Wedge Management Plan was being rewritten. 80% of these submissions objected to the new plan on environmental grounds and while some concessions were made, Council still pushed ahead with the new plan, which weakened Green Wedge protections drastically.
If elected, I will work towards a full review of the new Green Wedge Management Plan to make sure that it prioritises protecting the environment.
The current council have approved a number of inappropriate developments in the Green Wedge. An example of this was Pigeon Bank Road in North Warrandyte, where Council approved the construction of a house which would have seen at least 746 trees lost. But thankfully, the local community fought back and went as far as the Supreme Court before the developer pulled out, saving the crucial habitat on that plot of land. While some development is appropriate in the Green Wedge, it must be subject to strict guidelines to minimise vegetation loss and protect the Green Wedge for future generations.
Each development that takes place in the Green Wedge means trees lost. Over time, our Green Wedge stands the risk of death by 1000 cuts.
Another significant risk to our Green Wedge is invasive species such as deer, rabbits and foxes, which damage native vegetation and destroy habitats. Current methods to control these species are inhumane and are simply not working. In the Green Wedge, we have the opportunity to lead the way in pioneering new, more effective methods of managing these species. You can find my stance on invasive species here.
There are many more threats to our Green Wedge, including fire, illegal clearing, Climate Change, litter and pollution. These all need expert attention and to make this happen, we need a strong Council who will put the environment front and centre. By strengthening Council’s Green Wedge Management Plan, we can increase our ability to tackle the current threats and to encourage revegetation and enhanced biodiversity in the area.
My Vision for the Green Wedge
As a councillor, I will work with the local community so we can create a shared vision for the future of the Green Wedge – a vision which we can all agree on, where we can get the best use and enjoyment out of our land and where we share the responsibility of protecting our precious local environment.
We may each have a slightly different vision of what Green Wedge protection looks like but one thing we have in common is that we love where we live and we want to protect it. By working together, we can do just that and my job as a councillor will be to facilitate this.
By finding a shared vision for our Green Wedge, we can create a strong plan to protect it that we can all get on board with.
Council’s opportunities to protect the Green Wedge are endless but they include:
- Performing local character assessments of Green Wedge land to create enforceable standards for local planning
- Reintroducing programs to provide indigenous plants to landowners to help them revegetate their land freely
- Supporting local Landcare and Friends groups
- Controlling invasive species to limit damage to habitat
- Ceasing Council’s use of harmful pesticides such as glyphosates and providing incentives for landowners to use less damaging alternatives.
- Removing weeds and revegetating public land where appropriate
- Taking measures to reduce litter and pollution in our Green Wedge
- Improving enforcement to stop illegal clearing and dumping
- Assisting locals with gardening and permaculture
- Facilitating the establishment of public community gardens