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By Kath Gannaway

The Yellingbo Conservation Area Draft 10 Year Plan is open for comment.

The plan, approved by the Yellingbo Conservation Area (YCA) Coordinating Committee has been released for public comment with a closing date for submissions of Sunday, 7 October.

It can be viewed and downloaded from: www.engage.vic.gov.au .

The YCA has been a highly and hotly contentious issue over the past two years when affected land-owners in the Upper Yarra region were advised of proposed changes to crown land water frontage licences and leases.

The inclusion of Haining Farm in the YCA also raised concerns and a number of volatile public meetings have struggled to resolve many of the issues.

Some of those issues, bushfire risk, access for recreation, weed and pest control, future funding and numerous others are raised in the draft document which was prepared by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) for the Yellingbo Conservation Area Coordinating Committee (YCACC).

DELWP and YCACC are jointly hosting community drop-in sessions on the more than 100 page, 10 year draft at Healesville, Yarra Junction and Monbulk for individuals, community organisations, groups and agencies.

The Conservation Area is made up of approximately 3,000 hectares of public land reserves and Crown water frontages extending from Healesville in the north to Millgrove and Hoddles Creek in the east, Emerald and Cockatoo in the south, and the southern Dandenong ranges in the south-west.

Among the list of 21 public lands included are nature conservation reserves, bushland areas and streamside reserves at Yellingbo and Warramate Hills, Sassafras and Kallista, Beenak, Healesville and Haining Farm at Don Valley.

The draft indicates that changing the name from ‘Yellingbo Conservation Area’ to more accurately reflect the scope of the Conservation Area would be considered in the future following community feedback on the name.

A series of consultation questions are included throughout this plan. Answers can be submitted through the Engage Victoria website or via a paper copy of the survey which is available at https://engage.vic.gov.au/yellingboconservationarea .

Hard copies can be mailed to Yellingbo Conservation Area Submissions Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning Private Bag 15, Ferntree Gully Delivery Centre, 3156, or emailed to YCA.Plan@delwp.vic.gov.au copies .

Drop in sessions are Thursday, 23 August, 6-8pm at The Memo; Saturday, 25 August, 2-4pm at Upper Yarra Family Centre in Yarra Junction and Tuesday, 4 September, 6-8pm at Living & Learning Centre, Monbulk.

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