About the new reserve
The new 2,390 hectare reserve will protect important areas of Cool Temperate Rainforest and Damp Forest. It will provide habitat for threatened species including Slender Tree-fern, Koala, Powerful Owl and Strzelecki Burrowing Crayfish. The community has been advocating for the increase in conservation reserves in the Stzrelecki Ranges since the mid 1990s. The area is part of Brataualung Country of the Gunaikurnai people.
The nomination process
For this first stage we are seeking your nominations to name the new reserve. You can provide your nomination using the online form below until 14 January 2017.
For the second stage we will ask you to vote on your preferred name from a shortlist of the nominations. For the last stage we will review the votes, provide a final recommendation and implement the name of the reserve.
You can find out more about the process and how we will decide on the name below.
This new reserve is part of an area known locally as the 'Cores and Links'.
The ‘Cores and Links’ concept was developed subsequent to the sale of Victoria’s plantation estate to Hancock Victorian Plantations (now known as HVP Plantations) in 1995.
As a result of lobbying by local community groups, the Strzelecki Working Group was established to investigate values and recommend potential options for future management.
The Strzelecki Working Group included representatives from Hancock Victorian Plantations, local community groups, local government and West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority. The working group published the report ‘Strzelecki Ranges Biodiversity Study’ in 2002 that proposed a new conservation reserve similar in size and location that is reflected in the 2008 Agreement.
The ‘Cores and Links’ comprise ‘core’ endangered cool temperate rainforest with significant stands of Mountain Ash. They also ‘link’ Gunyah Rainforest Reserve to Tarra-Bulga National Park which protects important habitat and permits the movement of plants and animals through the Strzelecki Ranges.
The map shows the area for the new reserve in dark purple shading. The 'Cores and Links' area is represented by light purple and dark purple shading . The nearby existing reserves of Tarra-Bulga National Park, Gunyah Rainforest Reserve and Gunyah Scenic Reserve are also shown. Download the map below.
The 2008 Agreement
The Strzelecki Reserve (Cores and Links) Agreement was signed in 2008 by the Victorian Government and HVP Plantations. The agreement will return the 8000 hectare Cores and Links area to public management and, ultimately, protection as part of the reserve system. This naming project is a step in this process.
The Agreement would not have been achieved without the drive and commitment of many members of the community in working together and raising the issue over the last twenty years.
The agreement provides for the protection of the native forest in the Cores and Links and the eventual protection of all areas of the Cores and Links. The agreement protects an additional 15,000 hectares of native forests surrounding the Cores and Links under a Land Management Cooperative Agreement.
An area of 1500 hectares of plantation within the Cores and Links is subject to a once-off harvest, with those areas progressively regenerated and placed into public reserves and protection over the coming years. An area of the Cores and Links has been leased to HVP Plantations for this once-off harvest and the lease period will end in 2028. The agreement allows HVP Plantations to meet contractual obligations to Australian Paper and manage the impact on the local economy and jobs.
Since 2008, HVP Plantations have been undertaking an annual program to regenerate the areas that have been harvested with native understorey and overstorey.
The first handback of land for the new conservation reserve was completed in mid 2017. This handback was more than ten years ahead of scheduled end of lease in 2028. Further parcels will be handed back as they are progressively regenerated over the coming years. This naming project will provide a name for the 2,390 hectares returned to public management.
The local community has had a strong interest in advocating for the improved conservation of biodiversity in the Strzelecki Ranges and will have a key role in the naming process.
The naming process will be overseen by a community panel who will determine the shortlist of names and the final recommendation. The names will be evaluated based on the 12 principles and statutory requirements governing the naming of features (see page 15 and 37 of Naming Rules for Places in Victoria). The community panel has been convened by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.All votes will be counted and the name with the majority of votes will become the official name of the new reserve, subject to meeting the naming rules and DELWP's approval.
The final recommendation will require compliance checks, audit and gazettal by the Victorian Office of Geographic Names. The name will be incorporated in an Order of the Governor-in-Council for the establishment of the new reserve as a Forest Park under the Forests Act 1958.