The public launch of the Canadian Multi Use Forest Park proposal was held on Saturday 20 September. Phil Kinghorn,Steve Murphy and myself attended a Wauthawurrung 'smoking ceremony' in the messmate forest, followed by a short uphill walk to the 750ha site, which is a decommissioned Hancock plantation on the edge of Ballarat. A massive 350ha has been cleared, and under the terms of the reserved Crown land, it has, according to DEPI, to be put to 'productive use.' This favours re-establishing vegetation for the recreation park using a biorich model, mixing linkages to the surrounding natural forest in with 'productive' forestry clumps.
Two of the convenors for Friends of the Canadian Corridor, Linda Zibell and Jeff Rootes, have attended our bird surveys and have come away impressed with the biorich concept. The ALP has promised $2 million towards establishing the park. With the election less than two months away, the other major parties are expected to come on board the bandwagon.