Smiths Beach,

First Offset Site A Success

Bass Coast Shire Council’s first Native Vegetation Offset Scheme has been set-up in a bushland reserve at Smiths Beach.

The Scheme aims to protect and improve existing vegetation, establish new areas of vegetation on suitable sites and provide an avenue for permit applicants to meet their offset requirements.

The Smiths Beach site, located at the north east of the car park, has high quality vegetation and provides excellent habitat for wildlife.

Churchill Ward Councillor, Phil Wright, said the first site was two years in the planning and has been a great success.

“Protection of this site is now permanent,” Cr Wright said.

“There are two native orchids that can be found here – Green Leek orchid and Merran’s Sun orchid – and with care and weed control, we hope to see a return of them.

“The site also contains a great deal of endangered Swamp Scrub and vulnerable Coast Banksia Woodland.

Over the next 12 months, the community may see works being carried out to reduce the chance of bushfires, controlling the weeds and improving the vegetation on the site.

There are many other sites under consideration across the Bass Coast for native vegetation offset sites.

Council will also investigate options for the integrated management of the whole of the Smiths Beach Reserve.