Victorians are being encouraged to have their say on a draft plan to protect the Belfast Coastal Reserve while maintaining recreational activities.
The draft coastal management plan proposes two zones within the Belfast Coastal Reserve to ensure conservation of its unique environment as well as low-impact recreational use.
A ‘Conservation Zone’ would cover a central area of the reserve, to protect highly significant environment and cultural heritage, while allowing for visitor activities.
Large-scale and unlicensed horse training as well as dog-walking would be prohibited from this area.
The plan proposes permitting a small amount of horses to train within the Conservation Zone at Rutledges Cutting and Killarney Beach – to provide for local trainers that have historically used the Reserve.
A ‘Conservation & Recreation Zone’ at each end of the reserve – including Levys Beach at the eastern end and Killarney Beach at the western end – would allow for a wide range of recreational activities that do not significantly impact the reserve’s environment and cultural heritage.
Commercial horse training and recreational horse riding would be permitted during set times, within a designated area inside the Conservation & Recreation Zone and monitored with licence conditions.
The final coastal management plan will assist in managing the reserve – a stretch of shoreline between Port Fairy and Warrnambool that has significant cultural value for Eastern Maar and Gunditjmara Traditional Owners.
Source: Vic Government