Image: The Roberts Court Bushland Reserve, provided by Friends of Drouin's Trees. Image courtesy of Baw Baw Shire Council.

Baw Baw Shire Council has purchased a 10.53ha property in Drouin with the intention of creating a community bushland reserve for preserving local wildlife. 

Council is in the process of acquiring the Roberts Court Bushland Reserve, located at Longwarry Road, Drouin.

The reserve was identified as a high value environmental property due to its significant biodiversity values and potential for future enhancements, such as meandering walkways, educational signage and wildlife viewing areas.

Retaining the bushland reserve will preserve natural habitat for local wildlife with species such as burrowing crayfish, lorikeets, rosellas, kookaburras, and many more calling the site home. The reserve is also home to a population of the nationally threatened Strzelecki Gum.

The reserve will also provide benefits for the surrounding community by lowering ambient temperatures, purifying air, and encouraging residents to adopt healthy recreational activities such as walking.   

Image: A Crested Shrike-tit found in the Roberts Court Bushland Reserve, provided by Friends of Drouin's Trees. Image courtesy of Baw Baw Shire Council.

Image: A Crested Shrike-tit found in the Roberts Court Bushland Reserve, provided by Friends of Drouin’s Trees. Image courtesy of Baw Baw Shire Council.

Baw Baw Shire Council Mayor, Cr Michael Leaney, said Council is pleased to be able to secure the future of this stunning bushland reserve, right in the heart of Drouin. 

“The value that places like this have goes far beyond the dollar figure of the land on which they sit, and it’s important to recognise this when making decisions for the future,” Mayor Leaney said.

I am looking forward to taking in the site and seeing the community enjoy spending time there in the future.” 

Purchase of the Reserve was identified within the Drouin Development Contribution Plan (DCP01) and included in Council’s Long Term Infrastructure Plan to occur in the 2021/22 financial year. 

The acquisition of the land will be completed using funds allocated in either Council’s Land Sales reserve or Native Vegetation reserve, with contributions from the Development Contributions Levy, meaning no rate revenue will be used to facilitate the purchase.

Image: A Snowy Daisy Bush, an example of the vegetation found in the Roberts Court Bushland Reserve, provided by Friends of Drouin's Trees. Image courtesy of Baw Baw Shire Council

Image: A Snowy Daisy Bush, an example of the vegetation found in the Roberts Court Bushland Reserve, provided by Friends of Drouin’s Trees. Image courtesy of Baw Baw Shire Council

Local community group, Friends of Drouin’s Trees, voiced their support for the purchase of the bushland reserve via a submission during Council’s 2020/21 Annual Budget process. 

The submission cited the ecological and environmental value of the site to the existing fauna and flora, as well as the benefits urban bushland provides to the wider community.

Judy Farmer of Friends of Drouin’s Trees, celebrated Council’s unanimous decision to purchase the property. 

“Thank you and congratulations to all the Council Officers who have been working on the purchase of the bushland reserve over the past few years,” Ms Farmer said.

“The Roberts Court Bushland Reserve is home to an abundance of plant and animal life and retaining places like this is vital to ensuring a sustainable future for our area. 

“Hopefully, we will all get to see this area preserved and become one of the most visited and utilised environmental spaces in Baw Baw Shire.”

Following the recent finalisation of the acquisition, Council will release the purchase price to the community at a future Council Meeting.

Image: The Roberts Court Bushland Reserve, provided by Friends of Drouin’s Trees. Image courtesy of Baw Baw Shire Council.

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