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Frankston Reservoir to be designated a Nature Conservation Reserve!

The Honourable Ryan Smith MP, Minister for the Environment, has confirmed that he will upgrade the status of the Frankston Reservoir to a Nature Conservation Reserve. A delegation, including the Member for Frankston Geoff Shaw MP, met with the Minister in March to discuss the many issues surrounding the future of this significant bushland. The extraordinary quality of this remnant wilderness comes from the fact that there has been no public access for 90 years. Full protection of this reserve will protect the fauna and flora, and guard the “sanctuary” and “solitude” experience of this unique natural heritage for Frankston residents and all Victorians.

Designation as a Nature Conservation Reserve ensures that the protection and enhancement of the flora and fauna of Frankston Reservoir is the primary focus for the future management of this area. The change in classification to Nature Conservation Reserve will require an act of parliament to amend the Crown Land Reserves Act and it is anticipated that this will take place later this year.

The upgrade in the designation seizes this unique opportunity to fully protect the very last area of highly significant bayside vegetation and fauna that lies between Portsea and the city of Melbourne. Moreover, for a society increasingly beset by the nature deficit syndrome, it also offers an exceptional opportunity for people to connect directly with the landscape and fauna that is as the first settlers saw it.

The Frankston Reservoir site supports nationally, state and regionally significant flora and fauna species, plant communities and fauna habitats, including 6 ecological vegetation classes (EVC’s) of State significance. The most extensive of these EVC’s is the endangered Grassy Woodland, which is one of the most species rich ecosystems in the temperate world and is particularly rich in native grasses, orchids and lilies. 215 indigenous flora species are recorded at the 90 hectare site and over 100 fauna species including the nationally threatened Growling Grass Frog and state significant Musk Duck. Koalas, sugar gliders and echidnas also continue to enjoy the habitat of the Frankston Reservoir.

The extraordinary high quality of this remnant wilderness can be attributed to the fact that there has been no public access for 90 years while it was under the control of the water authorities. The full protection of this reserve will not only protect the fauna and flora, but it will also guard the “sanctuary” and “solitude” experience that this unique piece of our natural heritage can offer, not just Frankston residents, but all Victorians.