About VEAC

The Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC) is an independent council established under, and operates in accordance with, the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council Act 2001.

The role of VEAC is to conduct investigations and assessments as requested by the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, relating to the protection and ecologically sustainable management of the environment and natural resources of public land. More information about VEAC and previous VEAC investigations is available on the VEAC website.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

We know you might have some questions. Here are some of the most common questions that we receive.

What is VEAC?

The Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC) is an independent council established under, and operates in accordance with, the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council Act 2001. The role of VEAC is to conduct investigations and assessments as requested by the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, relating to the protection and ecologically sustainable management of the environment and natural resources of public land. More information about VEAC and previous VEAC investigations is available at: www.veac.vic.gov.au

What was VEAC asked to investigate?

In August 2011 the State government requested VEAC to investigate the biodiversity and ecological values of public land within the Yellingbo investigation area, identify threats to these values and to make recommendations relating to management to conserve and enhance these values.  The Terms of Reference are available here.

An independent Community Reference Group was formed as part of the Yellingbo Investigation. There were two public submission periods where the community and the wider public could make submissions and comment on the draft report.

First round submissions were accepted until 20 February 2012 and these guided development of the Draft Proposals paper, released for further public comment in early December 2012. This second submission period closed in late March 2013. Seventy-nine submissions were received in response to the draft proposals paper.

The State Government released the VEAC Yellingbo Final Investigation Report in July 2013. The Government responded to the recommendations in the Final Report in March 2014 and endorsed the final report, accepting all of the recommendations in full or in principle.  The Andrews Labour Government is committed to implementing the recommendations, which include the creation of a new conservation area.

The Yellingbo Conservation Area Coordinating Committee (YCACC), was established in December 2015 to coordinate the implementation of the final recommendations detailed in the Yellingbo Final Investigation Report.

The VEAC Yellingbo Investigation Final Report, the Government Response to the VEAC Investigation Final Report and an interactive map are available on the VEAC website.

Why is the Yellingbo Conservation Area being established?

The Yellingbo Conservation Area is being established to consolidate management of a fragmented landscape and enhance the ecological and natural values of the public land in the area. The new reserve will assist in the protection and improvement of the area’s significant biodiversity and ecological values, as well as improve river health and water quality (through the removal of stock from waterways). Direct stock access to waterways can affect river health and water quality by introducing pathogens and nutrients from stock faeces and urine, causing an increased risk of disease. Stock access can also cause erosion and the disturbance of stream banks, and the resulting sediment can harm aquatic life and cause ecosystem damage.

How will the new Yellingbo Conservation Area be established?

The Yellingbo Conservation Area will be established after relevant legislation (National Parks Act 1975) has been amended.

What areas are included in the Yellingbo Conservation Area?

The Yellingbo Conservation Area includes areas of public land inside the Yellingbo Investigation area predominantly along streamsides where there is Crown land, but also includes larger blocks of public land and existing conservation reserves. An interactive map is available at http://www.veac.vic.gov.au/yellingbomapping/yellingbo.htm

Some areas of the new Yellingbo Conservation Area include areas of public land previously licenced to adjoining landowners, but the new reserve does not include any privately owned land.

Will I still be able to engage in recreational activities in the new reserves?

Areas that are currently Nature Conservation Reserves (NCRs) such as Yellingbo, Warramate Hills, Sassafras Creek and Coranderrk, do not permit hunting, dog walking or horse riding. Activities such as bushwalking and picnicking are permitted in designated areas.

The VEAC Final Report identified that several existing conservation areas will be included in the Yellingbo Conservation Area. Some existing uses will be able to continue, and others will be phased out, depending on the environmental values present in each area.

Who is represented on the Yellingbo Conservation Area Coordinating Committee and how were they appointed?

The Yellingbo Conservation Area Coordinating Committee includes an independent chairperson, representatives from Parks Victoria, Melbourne Water, Yarra Ranges Council, Cardinia Shire Council, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), Zoos Victoria, Port Phillip & Westernport Catchment Management Authority (CMA), CFA, Wurundjeri and Trust for Nature. There are four community representatives on the committee who were nominated by local councils. Three from Yarra Ranges Council and one from Cardinia Shire Council.