Tag Archives: Muckleford Forest

Objecting to Kalamazoo’s proposed Exploration Licence

Muckleford Forest Friend Group have decided to object to application for an Exploration Licence (EL) for the Muckleford Forest. We posted briefly on it on the Muckleford Forest website a few days ago.

Remnants of past mining in the Muckleford Forest

We are objecting because we are concerned about the potential adverse environmental, residential and economic impacts, and loss of amenity for residents.

Our objection may make no difference – but we wanted to make our views known at this early stage in the process and make sure that we are advised of the outcome and (assuming they get the EL) that we are consulted when they develop a Work Plan for exploration activities etc.

Our objection is linked on this page.

We would encourage others to object as well. You can write a short submission – a few sentences for example, or write something more detailed and attach it. Lodge your objection here – https://rram.force.com/ObjectionSubmission

And of course you can draw on or refer to our objection. The deadline for your objection is Friday May 17th (21 days after the advert – assuming you saw the advert in a local paper Tarrangower Times or the Age or Herald-Sun!). Here is a link to an article in the Maryborough Advertiser and to the Bendigo Advertiser as well.

Information on Exploration Licences is here – https://earthresources.vic.gov.au/community-and-land-use/understanding-exploration

We’ll update you via this website when we hear more.



Gold exploration across the Muckleford?

A gold exploration application has been lodged across a large area include the Muckleford Forest – and private land as well. The application has been approved according to the Kalamazoo web site. A bit hard to get the status clear via the government’s Earth Resources website – as you will see below it appears to be an ‘application’ but it appears from Kalamazoo website and media that it has been approved.


You can search mining tenements on this webpage – Mining Licences Near Me – and here is the image of the Kalamazoo application (Exploration Licence
EL006959) based on my address in Green Gully.

Should we worry? That’s a hard question! It depends on what they might plan to do within the Exploration Licence area: that is, their ‘work plan’. And whether locals read the classifieds in the local paper and or The Age or the Sun Herald.

Here is the web page about objecting to an Exploration Licence – website (http://earthresources.vic.gov.au/earth-resources-regulation/Contact-us/objections).

Seems like a watching brief – let us know if you notice anything – in the media or on the ground!



Health Checking our Key Biodiversity Areas: 12 April 2019

(shared from Connecting Country)

BirdLife International has identified areas of conservation importance around the world as Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs). This includes KBAs right here in our region – the Bendigo Box Ironbark area. Our KBAs were designated especially for their importance for two special birds, Diamond Firetail and Swift Parrot, and cover both public and private land.

Our three KBAs in the Mount Alexander Shire (VIC) are:

  • Clydesdale-Strangways.
  • Sandon-Strathlea.
  • Muckleford-Newstead – our Muckleford Forest Friends Group bird survey areas!

Birdlife’s Easter health check takes an annual snapshot of the threat and conservation actions of the areas that matter most to birds. BirdLife compares results between KBAs across Australia and around the globe. The results are extremely valuable, especially for identifying species decline and targeting conservation work. For more information on the KBA and the Easter health check process click here.

BirdLife is looking for local people to complete a 2019 Easter health check for each KBA. To assist, Connecting Country is running a workshop on Friday 12 April 2019 in Newstead.  We’ve invited Greg Turner from BirdLife Victoria to take us through the process for our part of the Bendigo Box Ironbark area. Geoff Nevill from the Muckleford Forest Friends Group will also talk about his group’s work in the region.

This annual check is all about assessing habitat and its threats. Anyone with an interest in landscape restoration is most welcome to come along and get involved, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced birdwatcher.

Volunteers Eleanor and Jenny surveying the Muckleford KBA (photo by Connecting Country)

Please come along to this workshop to learn how you can participate in the Easter Health Check for our local KBAs:

  • Learn about the KBA’s in the Mount Alexander Shire.
  • Find out about KBA Easter Health Check – what it is and how to do it.
  • Meet other people working with KBAs.

Where: Newstead Community Centre Mechanics Hall, 9 Lyons St, Newstead VIC

When: Friday 12 April 2019: 9.00 to 11.30 am

Bookings: Please click here

This is a free event, with morning tea and refreshments provided.

If you have any questions, please contact Ivan Carter at Connecting Country on (03) 5472 1594 or ivan@connectingcountry.org.au.

This event is supported by funding from the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.


Victorian logging regulation: not ‘effective nor respected’

A tree stump in East Gippsland forest after being logged

A tree stump in the Serpentine Creek area in East Gippsland, where VicForests is alleged to have logged rainforest buffer zones. Supplied: GEGO

On 15 March 2019 the Victorian government released a review of the regulation of logging in Victoria and the evidence is damning. The report’s authors were clearly struck by problems they found: “What is abundantly clear is that the system of policy, legislation and regulation is dated, complex, convoluted – indeed labyrinthine – and difficult to use, and DELWP is neither an effective or respected regulator.”

The evidence is in and it is damning. Logging in Victoria is not effectively regulated.

The review was initiated by Minister D’Ambrosio last year following the Department’s failed prosecution of VicForests for rainforest logging breaches. The review was undertaken over five weeks commencing mid-September 2018 and, although delivered to the government in late October 2018 just prior to the commencement of the caretaker period, it has taken until now for the report to be released.

The time taken for the review was too short to conduct a thorough independent evaluation of compliance and enforcement or to conduct adequate consultation – for comparison a review of compliance and enforcement at EPA Victoria in 2010 took six months – but the panel conducting the review have made a good start in grappling with the multiple failings within the department.
(summary from Environmental Justice Australia)

Read more in an article by journalist Lisa Cox in the Guardian.

A couple of background articles to the review: on the RFA renewal process and the Court case here

Birds and more birds

Over the last few weeks, Muckleford Forest friends have been out doing bird surveys, based on our newly established 2ha 20minute survey areas.

Geoff Nevill has been coordinating this mighty effort, and the rest of us have been exploring and learning by trying – the best way to learn really.

Read about the collective efforts of birders across our area here, and the great leadership offered by people like Tanya Loos and Geoff. This link explains more of what they have all been up to https://connectingcountry.org.au/birds-get-a-boost-in-the-goldfields-region/


Birds in the Muckleford Forest

We’ve just started ten bird survey transects in the Muckleford Forest!

There is a new page on our website with all the details. Let us know if you want to join in! We’ll report on results via the website and posts.

Good ‘swiftie’ news from Tassie too – Birdlife Australia is reporting that the Tasmanian Upper House has voted down the proposal to allow logging in 356,000 hectares of forests including 12,000 ha of Critically Endangered Swift Parrot habitat.




Don’t miss Talking Fire – register now

Talking Fire picsCome along to Talking Fire, 12-13 November. It’s free and you can come for the whole weekend, or drop in for a day or a session.

Talking Fire is about our local community, and fire in our local landscape. How can we work better as a community to reduce the risk to us – to our homes, families and friends – as well as protect our forests, wildlife and cultural sites? Talking Fire won’t be anything like the standard annual fire briefing!

Saturday will start at 10am with a welcome to Country, short talks on cultural burning, ecology, local fire experiences and fire myths with speakers Trent Nelson, Professor Andrew Bennett, Joan Sartori and Sam Strong.  Then we’ll head out to Mt Tarrengower to hear from long-term fire spotter Peter Skilbeck. Then we will visit the Muckleford Forest to look at how the forest has recovered after the 1981 fire and the more recent planned burns, with guides Paul Bates (DELWP), Tanya Loos, David Cheal and others. Instead you can drop into the Newstead Community Centre and record your fire stories with Gordon Dowell, or map favourite places that you’d like to see protected from fire. Everyone will come together at 3.30 to share what we have learnt, and set the scene for Sunday.

Sunday morning starts at 10.30, and our focus will be on risk. We’ll hear about landscape-scale fire planning from Alison Boak (DELWP), community planning around risk from Steve Pascoe, and vegetation and fire from David Cheal, fire ecologist. Turning to the local scene, representatives from our local brigades and the Shire will look at how local planning could reduce risk.

After lunch, provided by Newstead Men’s Shed and Community Garden, Jinette de Gooijer will facilitate an exploration of ideas and options on how we might respond – as a community – to what we have learnt over the weekend.

What will come out of Talking Fire? That is in the hands of everyone who comes and contributes! So come along. Register via our website – talkingfire.org – it only takes a minute and it’s free.

Thanks to Mount Alexander Shire Community Grants, Maldon & District Community Bank (Bendigo Bank), and the Norman Wettenhall Foundation for funding support, and to all the local organisations and individuals who are helping make Talking Fire a reality.