Wonthaggi,
19
April
2013
|
06:47
Australia/Melbourne

Vision For Scenic Estate

An outdoor space showcasing wildlife and native vegetation will be established on the previous disused Scenic Estate on Phillip Island.

The vision for environmental conservation was embraced by Bass Coast Shire Councillors at the April Council Meeting.

Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Clare Le Serve, described the decision as an exciting vision to create a space that residents and visitors could enjoy.

“Earlier this month, we received confirmation that Council now owns almost 50 per cent of the lots on the former estate.

“This means we can do some real planning for the future of Scenic Estate,” said Cr Le Serve.

“The community has been calling for action in the area and we are now in the position to make some positive changes.

“The roads and land we now own gives us the opportunity to create walking paths and tracks to view birds, enjoy the vegetation, and view the Ramsar wetlands from its northern border.

“It is really beautiful in there – I think people will be surprised by what they can see.”

To deliver on this vision, a gravel carpark, a series of walking tracks, viewing platforms and seating will be created on land owned and managed by Council and the Phillip Island Nature Parks.

Council’s Planning and Environment Director, Hannah Duncan-Jones, said the existing vegetation was of a high conservation value and would be protected, while degraded land will be revegetated with plants indigenous to the area.

“As Council does not currently own all the land within the estate, we will keep working on securing more of the remaining blocks,” confirmed Ms Duncan-Jones.

“We are still offering to buy other lots within Scenic Estate from adjacent landowners.

“In the meantime, care needs to be taken to ensure that the legal rights of adjoining landholders are not affected, so the paths and tracks will only be located on Council land and roads.”

Ms Duncan-Jones said the vision for Scenic Estate also included a native vegetation credit scheme.

“This means developers who remove native vegetation as part of a planning permit can pay a credit and have replacement vegetation planted in Scenic Estate.

“This income will then be used to maintain and develop the landscape of the area.”

Options for a landscape plan are being drafted, and there will be opportunities for interested community members to provide input into the plan.   Council will hold a meeting to discuss having a community reference group to assist with the long term maintenance and development of the site.