The final chapter in the story of returning Phillip Island’s Scenic Estate Conservation Reserve to nature for everyone to enjoy is now complete.
Despite being transformed from a proposed housing estate into a conservation area almost 10 years ago, the Reserve still contains several unused roads, a legacy from the 1960s subdivision.
Following a decision at the May Council Meeting, the last of these unused roads will now be discontinued.
Bass Coast Shire Mayor, Cr Michael Whelan said that that the decision is in line with Council’s vision to maintain Scenic Reserve as a conservation area.
“This 28-hectare site of natural bushland holds significant environmental value for Phillip Island,” Cr Whelan said.
“By getting rid of the unused roads, it will allow for consolidation of the land into a single parcel, which will help to improve management practices into the future. Coupled with the Summerlands buy back, this is a wonderful conservation success story for Phillip Island.”
Scenic Estate Conservation Reserve originated as a subdivision from the 1960s (Scenic Estate), which in the 1980s was deemed to be inappropriate for development by the State Government.
It sat dormant for 30 years until 2013, when Council resolved that Scenic Estate would be managed for environmental conservation.
“Council worked with Phillip Island Nature Parks, Parks Victoria and the State Government to develop the land into a public Conservation Reserve, which was opened for the community and visitors to explore from July 2015,” Cr Whelan said.
“The Reserve is a valuable asset for the Bass Coast community, managed by Phillip Island Nature Parks and Council. It includes boardwalks and viewing platforms, forming an important part of our tracks and trails network.
“The Reserve features endangered grasslands and native coastal bushland. It overlooks world heritage RAMSAR wetlands and provides a home for native wildlife and birds, including whistling kites and sea eagles, as well as six species of threatened birds,” Cr Whelan concluded.