Anglesea Heath merges into National Park

News

The Great Otway National Park (GONP) will increase in size by more than 6510 hectares with the addition of Anglesea Heath, thanks to the early surrender of land by Alcoa.

The addition of the Anglesea Heath to the National Park will honour the Victoria Andrews Government’s election commitment to ensure the area is protected.

For more than half a century, a large area of Crown land behind Anglesea had been leased to Alcoa to operate a coal mine and power station, which the company closed in August 2015.

Alcoa has also pledged to rehabilitate the former site of the coal mine and power station. The land being transferred to the GONP has not been used for Alcoa’s coal mine and power station activities.

The Anglesea Heath, as it is known, is a unique haven for native flora and fauna and is home to approximately a quarter of Victoria’s plant species including:

  • more than 100 species of orchid, making it one of the most orchid-rich sites in Australia
  • 20 species of flora that are rare or threatened at the state level
  • eight species of flora that are rare or threatened at the national level.

The Heath is also home to the Powerful Owl, Crimson Rosella, Rufous Bristlebird, New Holland Mouse, Swamp Antechinus and Swamp Skink.

It is proposed that the legislation to incorporate the Heath into the National Park will be introduced into Parliament later this year.

Victoria's Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said: “The Anglesea Heath is an incredibly important addition to the Great Otway National Park and will benefit the local community for generations to come.”

“The addition of Anglesea Heath would not have been possible without the cooperation of Alcoa, who surrendered the land early prior to the expiry of their lease term in 2061.

“The Andrews Labor Government will continue to work closely with Alcoa and the community to work to rehabilitate the mine site.”

Source: A state government media release