Thank You For Your Voice

The Central Highlands hold a unique place in Victoria’s story. Rich rainforests, towering Mountain Ash forests, and diverse wildlife are irreplaceable treasures facing increasing threats.

The Great Forest National Park proposal offers a chance to safeguard this natural wonder for generations to come. Your voice matters!

The Engage Victoria consultation has now closed and we thank everyone who helped call for the creation of the park.

What was this Consultation

Engage Victoria is the Victorian Government’s online community consultation platform. It provides an accessible way for you to share your views, ideas, and feedback on important projects, policies, and initiatives that shape the future of our state.

Through Engage Victoria we were able to make our voices heard on the creation of the Great Forest National Park as part of the proposal for the future of the Central Highlands. We had thousands of individuals visit this page for guidance on how to support the Great Forest National Park through the Engage Victoria consultation, and we thank all our partners and supporters for helping get the word out.

Why This Matters

Protect Our Endangered Species

The park will create a vital sanctuary for endangered Leadbeater’s Possums, Powerful Owls, and countless other species threatened by habitat loss.

Combat Climate Change

These ancient forests act as giant carbon stores – protecting them combats climate change and helps ensure a healthy future for all.

Secure Our Water

Healthy forests act as natural water filters, ensuring clean drinking water for communities.

Create a Thriving Future

The park will generate sustainable jobs in eco-tourism, recreation, and research, boosting the regional economy.

Reconciliation Action

The establishment of The Great Forest National Park presents a significant opportunity to facilitate joint-management with First Nations communities, generating economic opportunities and aligning with their aspirations for self-determination.

VEAC Assessment (2024) & Leadbeater's Possum Recovery Plan

The Victorian Government’s “Assessment of the values of state forests in the Central Highlands” (2024) by the VEAC and the Australian Government’s “National Recovery Plan for Leadbeater’s Possum (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri)” (2024) mark a significant moment for the future of Victoria’s iconic Central Highlands forests. These documents represent a genuine effort from the government to take meaningful action on conservation, but holding them accountable for these plans remains crucial.

Why These Documents Matter:

  • Scientific Justification: The VEAC report provides a comprehensive, data-driven assessment of the region’s ecological, social, and cultural values. This scientific foundation strengthens the case for prioritizing conservation.
  • Endangered Species Lifeline: The Leadbeater’s Possum Recovery Plan outlines a clear roadmap to save this critically endangered species. By acknowledging habitat loss as a primary threat (Recovery Plan, pg. 9), it emphasizes the urgency of protection.
  • Recognition of Traditional Owners: Both documents acknowledge the deep connection of Aboriginal communities to the Central Highlands. This is a critical step towards reconciliation and ensuring their voices are heard in future decision-making (VEAC Report, pg. 31)

Read the VEAC Report

Read the Leadbeater’s Possum Recovery Plan

What you need to know

While these documents represent a positive step, the fight for the Central Highlands is far from over.

  • National Park – A Key Recommendation: The Recovery Plan highlights the potential of a national park as a long-term solution for habitat protection (Recovery Plan, pg. 32). Supporters must ensure this recommendation translates into concrete action.
  • Accountability for Commitments: The VEAC report emphasizes the need for a “more localised assessment approach” with ongoing community engagement (VEAC Report, pg. 52). Continued vigilance is necessary to ensure the voices of local communities and environmental groups are heard throughout the decision-making process.

The Recovery Plan also highlights the Traditional Owners right to self determination and the crucial role they have in conservation efforts.

“Wurundjeri, Taungurung and Gunaikurnai welcome a Recovery Plan for the Leadbeater’s possum, and the Threatened Species Strategy generally as taking a necessary step toward halting the decline in biodiversity. Wurundjeri Council, Taungurung Clans Aboriginal Corporation, and Gunaikurnai Land and Water Aboriginal Corporation welcomes an inclusive plan to care for the land, plants, animals and waterways of Wurundjeri, Taungurung and Gunaikurnai Country.”

The VEAC assessment and the Leadbeater’s Possum Recovery Plan offer a glimmer of hope for the Central Highlands. However, translating these plans into reality requires ongoing public pressure and a commitment to holding the government accountable for its promises. This is a critical juncture for the environment and for demonstrating a genuine shift towards a sustainable future for the region.

Additional Resources

Want to learn more about the ecological and economic benefits of The Great Forest National Park proposal, check out the following resources.


Help support our work in expressing the conservation needs and compelling opportunities that we could address through the establishment of the Great Forest National Park for Victoria.

How to Donate


The Great Forest National Park is a large complex proposal, covering environmental impacts and the conservation of wildlife, economic benefits to the area and more. Visit our FAQ for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions
The traditional custodians of this country include the Bunurong (Boon Wurrung), Gunaikurnai, Taungurung (Daung warring) and Wurundjeri indigenous Australians. We acknowledge this land belongs to the sovereign people of the First Nations. This land was stolen from them and their sovereignty was never ceded. This park conservation plan is subject to ongoing discussions and approvals with relevant clans and corporations and fully supports and recognises all their cultural rights, control and access.


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