Saturday, May 18, 2013

birdsland master plan gets tick of approval

report from the roundtable – 14 may

It’s been a long journey but I was delighted to be able to move a motion at this week’s council meeting to endorse the Birdsland Master Plan.

The plan has been in the making since 2010 and has included extensive consultation with community members, key users of the reserve, environment groups, community group users as well as agencies who have an interest in the reserve.

Birdsland is one of the jewels in Yarra Ranges, with high conservation areas, significant habitat for the local wildlife including a pair of wedge tailed eagles and a beautiful part of the shire offering abundant passive recreation in a stunning setting.

I was pleased to learn that Betty Marsden OAM (ex Sherbrooke Shire President and Councillor), the visionary behind the Shire of Sherbrooke acquiring the land, was pleased with the masterplan recommendations.  Betty has long been involved with the reserve so it was terrific to hear her positive feedback.

The masterplan sets the direction for the reserve into the future and provides a framework to ensure that the site is sensitively developed and managed for the future. It focuses on three development zones being the entrance car park, the central picnic zone and the education centre and cottage precinct.

The masterplan will provide the strategic basis to seek funding not only through the Shire’s capital budget but also through the state and federal government.  There is great potential for the site, particularly greater community use of the education centre and cottage precinct, but it must been handled sensitively and the masterplan provides a basis for any future development. I look forward to seeing the masterplan implementation for this wonderful asset in Yarra Ranges.

I’m pleased to report that the motion was supported unanimously by councillors (note: Cr McCarthy absent).

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