The Victorian Government is establishing the 15,000-hectare Western Grassland Reserve outside the Urban Growth Boundary south-east of Melton and west of Werribee. The area contains the largest and highest-quality example of Natural Temperate Grassland remaining in Victoria, and is a key biodiversity asset for the state. The reserve also protects a range of habitat types including ephemeral wetlands, waterways, Red Gum swamps, rocky knolls and open grassy woodlands. The reserve will connect the reserves of the You Yangs across the Victorian Volcanic Plains to the Werribee River.

Western Grassland Reserves location map (PDF, 637.7 KB)

The reserve provides habitat for many State and Commonwealth listed threatened and rare species including:

  • Golden Sun Moth
  • Spiny Rice-flower
  • Striped Legless Lizard
  • Plains Wanderer

The creation of the reserve will significantly increase the proportion of the critically endangered Natural Temperate Grasslands of the Victorian Volcanic Plains.

Land in the Western Grassland Reserve is subject to a Public Acquisition Overlay (PAO), as well as an Environmental Significance Overlay (ESO), under the applicable planning schemes. DELWP negotiates voluntary sale agreements with landowners to acquire the land.

Part of the reserve has already been acquired, and DELWP is actively seeking to negotiate further acquisitions. Parks Victoria has taken on the management of the land acquired so far, and is undertaking extensive restoration and rehabilitation works for improve the quality of the Natural Temperate Grassland and habitat for threatened species.

More information

If you are a land-owner in the Western Grassland Reserve and have questions regarding the land acquisition process or for more information about the MSA program, please contact

Page last updated: 13/05/21