22 Apr 2024


Following the end of native forest logging in Victoria, the state government is preparing for the future of state forests - and they want to know what you think. The Victorian Government has opened a survey to understand what you think is most important about the magnificent forests of the Central Highlands. This is your opportunity to use your voice to help establish the Great Forest National Park and protect the future of forests and the incredible species that call them home. Have your say today - complete the survey.  

What’s in the survey? 

The survey questions aim to understand why the Central Highlands state forests are important, how they could be used, and how they could be improved. We’ve outlined the questions below, but if you’re not sure what to say, keep scrolling to check out key points from our submission!    

  1. Which state forest areas are you interested in? E.g. select all 
  2. What best describes how you currently experience this area of the forests? E.g. Hiking, trail running, photography, wildlife watching, camping. 
  3. How often would you visit this area of the forests? E.g. As often as possible! I’d travel interstate to visit Australia’s newest National Park.  
  4. What is important to you about the Central Highlands state forests area? The Central Highlands State Forests are a place of safekeeping for generations of Indigenous Knowledge,  a stronghold for multiple endangered species, are imperative for maintaining air quality and water security, and present abundant economic opportunities via ecotourism. 
  5. Looking to the future, how could the Central Highlands state forests be improved? E.g. Establishing the Great Forest National Park. 

Not sure what so say? No worries!

Check out the excerpts from our submission for some inspiration.

Cultural Significance and Indigenous Knowledge 

Described as a ‘keeping place’ by Traditional Owners, these magnificent forests have been a stronghold for countless generations, providing safe places for storytelling and spiritual connection.

If we establish the Great Forest National Park, including co-managed areas, Indigenous Protected Areas and opportunities for land back rights for Traditional Owners, we can protect the rich environmental and cultural heritage assets across the Central Highlands while securing a better future for people and nature.

Threatened Species

The Central Highlands state forests are home to many threatened species, including the Critically Endangered Leadbeater’s possum and the Endangered southern greater glider. These rare and unique species are only found in Australia, and have disappeared from other mountain ash forests in Tasmania and the Otway Ranges, making these forests in the Central Highlands critical for their survival. We must protect the Central Highlands state forests to combat species decline and give iconic Australian wildlife a future.


Protecting and restoring these forests is crucial for combatting the impacts of climate change and improving the resilience of communities and ecosystems.

These state forests provide the largest clean water catchment area in Victoria, yielding water for almost the entire population of Melbourne and securing Victoria’s food bowl and agricultural water systems. As Climate Change increases the frequency and severity of extreme weather events like drought and bushfires, it’s vital that we do everything we can to ensure Aussie communities have abundant and ongoing access to water. Establishing the Great Forest National Park will bolster water security and signal to communities across Victoria that their health and well-being are a priority to the state government.

Forests act as carbon sinks - natural carbon absorbers, capturing and storing large amounts of carbon in their trees, soil and vegetation. According to the Victorian Government, the state forests in the Central Highlands store more carbon per hectare than any other forest in the world - even more than some globally iconic forests like the Amazon! This shows that the Central Highlands state forests have global significance. Establishing the Great Forest National Park will benefit the future of people and nature in Australia and around the world.


State forests in the Central Highlands are Victoria’s richest ecological asset. By establishing the Great Forest National Park, we can make the most of the abundant opportunities in the eco-tourism space, creating more jobs, increasing visitation and tourism, and boosting the region’s economy. The appeal of the Central Highlands National Park will flow onto surrounding towns and regions, creating opportunities for new industries in travel and tourism, agriculture, arts, and hospitality, creating regional hubs and revitalizing growth in the Central Highlands region and surrounding communities.

At a time when Australians are spending less time outdoors than ever*, it’s imperative that we make the most of opportunities for people to learn about, experience and enjoy nature. With the Great Forest National Park, people of all ages will be inspired to explore Australia’s stunning landscapes and welcoming communities while enjoying significant benefits to their mental and physical well-being.