Council last night adopted the first Mount Noorat Management Plan to guide management of the site.
Mayor Neil Trotter commended the Mount Noorat Management Committee on the work that had gone into the plan.
“Mount Noorat is a natural treasure for the Shire,” Cr Trotter said.
“It is only appropriate that we have a definite and detailed plan to ensure its future is sustainable.
“The plan includes detailed actions to ensure management of the site meets community expectations.”
The plan was developed after extensive community consultation.
It sets out a 30-year vision to ensure the mount is a destination known for its geological and natural values and experiences; a place where culture past and present is understood and respected; and where access is provided for all to enjoy.
To achieve that vision, it lists five strategic objectives:
- protected and enhanced natural values;
- quality visitor experiences that reflect the character of the site;
- Aboriginal and European history is understood and respected;
- walking tracks are accessible, well maintained and cater for diverse experiences; and
- self-sustaining financial management and governance.
Cr Trotter said the plan would help preserve the natural environment and support Noorat’s economy by increasing visitation.
“Mount Noorat is one of the significant natural landmarks on the Volcanic Lakes and Plains tourism region,” he said.
“There’s a balance to be struck between attracting visitors for the good of our local communities and protecting the reason those visitors come here. This plan will be a valuable tool to help achieve that balance.”
Cr Trotter said it was important to acknowledge the mount had been donated to the community by the late Niel Black, whose family had managed the land for generations.
“It’s an exceedingly generous gift to the community. This plan appropriately honour’s Niel’s legacy.”
Central Ward Councillor Helen Durant moved the recommendation at last night’s meeting at the Rose Room in Terang.
“As a proud Noorat resident I am very please to be able to move this recommendation,” Cr Durant said.
“The plan is comprehensive, interesting, easy to read and well presented.
“It was prepared by an enthusiastic group of people with a great interest in the future of the mount.”
Cr Durant also commended the school students who had submitted artwork for the competition to design the plan’s front cover.
The Mount Noorat Management Committee will be responsible for carrying out actions in the plan. That will ensure the Noorat and nearby communities are involved in the 146-hectare site’s management.