The Western Port Ramsar Management Plan was produced in 2003,
with a great deal of input from local conservation groups, especially
WPPC (Westernport & Peninsula Protection Council),PICS (Phillip
Island Conservation Society), Bird Observers Club and VWSG
(Victorian Wader Study Group) Inexplicably however these groups
were not informed of the current review of the Managment Plan.
WPPC and PICS have been actively campaigning to protect and
preserve Westernport since 1970. In the 1980’s we lobbied successfully for
Westernport bay to be listed as a Ramsar site. We
made detailed input to the Western Port Ramsar Management Plan
between 2001-03. We are astounded that we were not informed of a
review of the Management Plan that has been taking place this year.
We belatedly and only informally heard about the review one week
before the final consultation was to take place and after contacting
the convener, were invited to participate. However, our participation
was too late to make any meaningful input to the priorities
established at previous meetings.
We, the undersigned, are very concerned that the Draft plan
release in January will not address the most serious risks to the bay.
We request an urgent meeting with you to explain our concerns
about the Management Plan Review
We also urge you to delay publication of the Draft to allow adequate
consultation with these community stakeholders.