Greater Protection For Ramsar Wetland On The Bellarine

The Andrews Labor Government has launched a new seven-year blueprint to protect and enhance one of Victoria’s acclaimed wetlands, the Port Phillip Bay (Western Shoreline) and Bellarine Peninsula Ramsar site.

Minister for Water Lisa Neville today announced that the Labor Government will deliver an additional $1.5 million to protect Ramsar wetlands across the state and launched the Port Phillip Bay (Western Shoreline) and Bellarine Peninsula Ramsar Management Plan, which provides a clear action plan for managing the wetlands until 2025.

The Labor Government is delivering $300,000 as a part of the plan for the Port Phillip Bay (Western Shoreline) and Bellarine Peninsula Ramsar site, to deliver on-ground works such as weed and pest control and wetland fencing.

Wadawurrung Traditional Owners, Barwon River EstuaryWatch volunteers and the next generation of environmental leaders from Barwon Heads Primary School joined the Minister to launch the plan.

The site includes wetlands from Point Cook near Melbourne to the Barwon Estuary, and sets out actions that will protect the natural environment of the area.

Among the world class flora and wildlife are very large numbers of waterbirds, as well as threatened species and ecological communities such as saltmarsh.

The announcement follows last month’s declaration that Glenelg Estuary and Discovery Bay has been approved for listing as the state’s 12th Ramsar site.

Ramsar sites are wetlands of international importance listed by Australia under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

The site is significant for Traditional Owners and provides a place for the communities of Melbourne, Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula to enjoy nature and relax or enjoy a range of recreation activities.

In 2016-17, the Labor Government invested $2 million over three years to improve the way Ramsar sites were managed.

This is part of a broader commitment by the Labor Government and complements the record $222 million investment made in repairing the health of Victoria’s waterways and catchments.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Water and Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville

“This significant Ramsar area is important for both locals and visitors, who enjoy walking and birdwatching in the natural surrounds, it will now be protected for generations to come.

“We’re focused on improving the health of this magnificent wetland area and its local wildlife and protecting our waterways and catchments.”