About the Yellingbo Conservation Area
- In August 2011, the Minister for Environment and Climate Change requested the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC) to investigate public land in the Yellingbo area, focussing on the biodiversity and ecological values, and make recommendations for appropriate management arrangements to conserve and enhance these values. In July 2013, VEAC completed the Yellingbo Investigation Final Report (VEAC report http://www.veac.vic.gov.au/documents/YellingboFINAL_REPORT-interactive-web.pdf ) which made recommendations to recognise the high conservation values in parts of the area and to build on the existing collaboration in managing the land by the community, local governments and State government. The principal recommendation was that areas of Crown land within the investigation area be added to a new Schedule Four A ‘Conservation Landscapes’ created for the protection of fragmented public land within specified landscapes and for the integrated management of the designated land for nature conservation.
- In October 2015, the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water established an interdepartmental committee known as the Yellingbo Conservation Area Coordinating Committee (YCACC) to improve coordination and collaboration between land managers and other agencies involved in the management of the Yellingbo Conservation Area; and to establish strategic priorities and clear directions for the area to assist land managers, local government and the community to work in partnership to achieve better environmental outcomes.
- From October 2015 to January 2019, YCACC met monthly and provided a forum to coordinate land management actions in the YCA and collaborate between agencies and community members with the strategic view of establishing a new conservation area.
- Following an independent review of the Yellingbo Conservation Area Coordinating Committee (YCACC), the Victorian Government has adjusted the committee structure to support the establishment of the Yellingbo Conservation Area. Given that the Yellingbo Conservation Area Draft 10 Year Plan is shifting from planning to implementation over the coming 12 months and it was timely to update the governance arrangements.
- YCACC has replaced with a coordinating committee of land managers and a broader-based community reference group to continue to build on the initiatives of YCACC.
Coordinating committee of land managers
- Rather than establish a new committee of land managers, Yarra4Life’s coordination committee will support the Yellingbo Conservation Area as the project moves from a planning phase to an implementation phase. Yarra4Life already provides a collaborative forum for land managers and community groups within the Yarra Valley via its long standing coordination committee.
- In addition to its existing role of discussing cross-tenure land management issues and coordinate land management activities more broadly across the Yarra Valley, the committee will now also provide advice to the Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning and Parks Victoria on the implementation of the Yellingbo Conservation Area Draft 10 Year Plan.
- A partnership between Yarra4Life and DELWP has been established. The Yarra4Life Coordination Committee will provide advice and opportunities for collaboration to the agencies that are devising and implementing the Draft 10 Year Plan.
- A member of DELWP’s Yellingbo Conservation Area Team will join the Yarra4Life Coordination Committee. Matters relating to the implementation of the Draft 10 Year Plan will be addressed as a standing agenda item at meetings.
- The Yarra4Life Coordination Committee’s role as an advisory group is to look for ways to improve efficiencies among the land managers for the area, facilitate best-practice land management activities and provide opportunities for integration of cross-tenue land management activities.