From June/July edition of The Blackwood Times.

By Shane Scanlan

Blackwood & Barry’s Reef Landcare Group (BBRLG) has expressed its gratitude to Moorabool Mayor Paul Tatchell for saving several hectares of native vegetation from destruction.

Via a “quiet word”, Cr Tatchell on May 13 diplomatically convinced the Vintage Enduro Riders Inc (VERi) to cancel its planned “special test” enduro through native vegetation on Crown Land on the southern outskirts of Blackwood.

The illegal motocross course on Crown Land on Blackwood’s southern outskirts.

The event was scheduled as part of the group’s Australian 3 Day Vintage Enduro (A3VE).

The “special test” would have destroyed many native species, including the Wombat BushPea (Pultenaea reflexifolia), which is classified as rare inVictoria & only grows in the Wombat State Forest.

The Wombat Bush Pea (Pultenaea reflexifolia), which is classified as rare in Victoria & only grows in the Wombat State Forest was one of many species under threat.

Other species in the firingline included (there were too many to list!) the Tall Greenhood orchid (Pterostylis melogramma), Slender Rice Flower (Pimelia linifolia), Common Heath (Epacris impressa), Grass Trigger Plant (Stylidium graminifolium), Purple Coral Pea (Hardenbergia violacea), Handsome Flat Pea

(Platylobium formosum) Cranberry Heath (Astroloma humifusum), Trailing Shaggy Pea (Podolobium precumbens) & Common Hovea (Hovea heterophylla).

Landcare members first raised concern with the organisers of theevent before contacting Cr Tatchell after noticing about a km of motocross course taped out through a forested section of Crown Land.

It seems incredible that VERi members thought this was appropriatein the first place & it makes you wonder what happens out there in theanonymity of the forest.

It also raises questions about how permission was (without a permit) granted for the “special test” on Crown Land.

Landcare president Catherine Moser wrote in a letter of thanks to Cr Tatchell: “The group applauds your sensitive approach to this matter, which has resulted in an amicable outcome without any harsh words being said.”

“In small towns like Blackwood, it is important that issues like these be worked out before they become divisive.”

“The community welcomes the event to Blackwood, but just without any damage to our precious native vegetation.”

“We look forward to hosting the vintage enduro riders to Blackwood & working with them in the future to ensure that all interests are looked after – including our wonderful natural environment.”

Landcare members on May 17 dissembled the course.

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