Noorat resident Pamela Knight has shown her love of the town’s volcanic landmark with a substantial gift to the Mt Noorat Management Committee.
Her $30,000 contribution is for fencing the crater to keep out livestock and protect remnant vegetation and future plantings of local native species.
“My great interest is towards the reestablishment of native vegetation to Mt Noorat,” she said.
“I see the crater as the easiest commencement site but as time progresses, I hope further areas can be fenced and planted with native flora.”
Mrs Knight moved to Noorat in 1950 with her late husband Robert and immediately fell in love with the place. She says she is an ecologist at heart.
“I have always been a lover of native bush. I grew up in the outer suburbs of northern Sydney, next to the bush.
“It’s important to our nation that we rediscover our country that we have destroyed.”
Mrs Knight said she wanted the crater looking close to how it appeared before European arrival.
She said the endangered Silver Banksias, for example, are very important. The last one in the crater died five years ago.
Informative signs also feature in Mrs Knight’s vision for the mount.
“I want information on native flora, information that the crater is being revegetated and how this is being done. I would love to see Dead Man’s Gully revegetated.
Mrs Knight said plants initially would need to be purchased but establishing a native plant nursery would be “a splendid longer-term solution”.
“I am mad about the environment. We need to protect the eagles.”
Chair of the Mt Noorat Management Committee Chris O’Connor welcomed the contribution.
“Mrs. Knight’s vision of the mount aligns closely with the recently completed Management Plan.
“Her contribution will go a long way to implementing some of the initial projects highlighted in the Plan.”
Corangamite Shire Council formally thanked Mrs Knight’s gift at its July meeting.
Central Ward Councillor and Noorat resident Helen Durant praised the generosity.
“The philanthropy of Pam Knight and her late husband Robert, and their passion for the environment, is well known in the Noorat community,” Cr Durant said.
“Pam’s incredible generous contribution of $30,000 towards native vegetation and fencing is one that I am very happy to formally acknowledge.”
Cr Durant also congratulated the Mt Noorat Management Committee on the extensive work it had done over the past 12 months.
“They have been a very active and committed group who have achieved a lot in a relatively short period of time.
“A comprehensive management plan has been developed and external funding sourced that has allowed the Committee to address key issues including a much-needed upgrade to the walking track, and the development of a vegetation management plan that will help to identify suitable areas for revegetation and weed control measures.”
External funding includes $40,000 from the Federal Government’s Pick My Project program.
Cr Durant said the Committee had received 15 applications for five vacant positions which showed the tremendous support in the community for the mount.
She commended the establishment of a Friends of Mt Noorat Group so more people could be actively involved.
Cr Durant also thanked outgoing Committee members Heather Hicks, Harold Craven, and Steve Hampson.
At the July meeting Council appoint Dr Craig Wood, Tim Sargeant, Rhett Blain, Peter McSween and Susan Morrison to fill the five vacant positions for a four-year term.