The Yarra Waterways Group holds grave concerns regarding the future of agriculture and tourism in the Upper Yarra Valley due to the impacts caused by the Yellingbo Conservation Area known as the YCA. These concerns include increased risks to lives and property from bushfire and flooding events caused by afforestation of Haining Farm and wide corridors along the Yarra River & tributaries. At the bottom of this page is a list of documents containing more information about the YCA and concerns held by the Yarra Waterways Group.
The Victorian Government embarked on a plan in 2010 to radically change the Yarra Valley as people know it. The idea was to transform Melbourne’s iconic tourist area and agricultural food bowl into a new State Park (included in the National Parks Act). The primary reason given to the community was too increase the habitat areas for the Helmeted Honeyeater and Leadbeaters Possum.
In 2011 the Victorian Government appointed the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council VEAC to conduct an investigation named the “Yellingbo Investigation”. The investigation area covered 51,370 hectares being about 20% of the Yarra Ranges Shire focused primarily in the populated and rural regions home to over 36,000 people. It encompassed the valleys and low hills between the Dandenongs and Mt Donna Buang incorporating 15 towns of the Upper Yarra Valley (Woori Yallock, Launching Place, Yarra Junction, Wesburn, Hoddles Creek, Cockatoo, Emerald, Sassafras, Monbulk, Seville, Gladysdale, Don Valley, Gruyere, Healesville and Yellingbo).
The investigation lead to a final report accepted by the Victorian Government which intern lead to the current Yellingbo Conservation Reserve (668 hectares) being massively enlarged incorporating over 30 kilometers of the Yarra River and 2,940 hectares of land called Yellingbo Conservation Area YCA. In the future the government plans to rename the YCA as the State Emblems Park and include it in the National Parks Act as recommended by the VEAC Final Report.