What are conservation areas?

A conservation area is an area of high biodiversity value that will be permanently protected and managed to achieve the conservation outcomes committed to as part of the Melbourne Strategic Assessment.

How were the conservation areas in the strategies determined?

These areas were determined by the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning based on the best available data and in consultation with the Growth Areas Authority (now VPA) and the Department of Planning and Community Development. A range of factors were considered, including the:

  • contribution of the area to achieving conservation of threatened species and ecological communities;
  • requirements of the sub-regional species strategies and prescriptions in relation to the protection of land;
  • size and significance of any populations of matters of national environmental significance;
  • quality of native vegetation; and,
  • ability to practically manage the area, considering factors such as the area's size and shape and adjacent likely future land uses.

How will the conservation areas in the strategies be protected?

Planning provisions will be used to designate the land in the conservation areas as unsuitable for urban development, and to require land in the conservation areas to be secured for conservation, when landowners seek a planning permit for development or works on a property that includes a conservation area.

Land in these conservation areas will be secured through legal agreements (restrictive covenants) under section 69 of the Conservation Forests and Land Act 1987, vesting in a public authority or voluntary acquisition by the Crown.

A Conservation Management Plan will be prepared for each conservation area to outline how these areas will be protected and managed.

What happens if new species are listed as threatened or new species are discovered in the growth corridors in the future?

Because the protection and conservation of species is considered at a growth corridor level and to ensure planning certainty, the Biodiversity Conservation Strategy does not require the future protection of matters not currently known to occur in the growth corridors. This also includes those that are not currently listed or nominated for listing.

How will the conservation areas in the strategies be funded?

Landowners who remove native vegetation and habitat for certain threatened species within the growth corridors must pay habitat compensation fees to DELWP. The fees will be used to protect and manage the conservation areas.

For further information on these fees, visit Habitat Compensation.

What do the sub-regional species strategies do?

The Sub-Regional Species Strategies for Growling Grass Frog and Golden Sun Moth identify all land in the growth corridors that will be protected for the conservation of those species and set out how this land will be managed.

The sub-regional species strategies informed the Biodiversity Conservation Strategy. All land requiring protection for the conservation of the Growling Grass Frog and the Golden Sun Moth has been identified in the Biodiversity Conservation Strategy.

The Sub-Regional Species Strategy for the Southern Brown Bandicoot focuses on conservation actions for the species in a management area outside the Urban Growth Boundary. The supplement identifies additional actions to provide habitat connectivity in the Melbourne's south-east region.

How were seasonal herbaceous wetlands addressed?

Seasonal herbaceous wetlands were listed as a matter of national environmental significance under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 after public consultation had been undertaken on the draft Biodiversity Conservation Strategy.

Subsequently, the Victorian and Commonwealth governments agreed to address seasonal herbaceous wetlands separately to the strategy.

A previous report identified occurrences of seasonal herbaceous wetlands within the growth corridors. The Seasonal Herbaceous Wetlands report showed that significant areas of this community will be protected in the Western Grassland Reserves and other conservation areas.

The report informed the 2013 and 2014 Commonwealth Government's approvals for urban development in Melbourne's growth corridors. To view the report, visit our Publications.

Page last updated: 09/06/17