The Victorian Government is at serious risk of failing to meet seed targets under the Biodiversity 2037 strategy. The plan was developed in 2017 with the overarching vision to ensure Victoria’s natural environment is healthy and valued by Victorians.
The plan is also slated to stop the decline of native plants and animals while protecting the natural environment. Part of this involves the availability and supply of native seeds for environmental restoration, with the current trajectory set to only meet 10 per cent of the 2037 target.
The Nationals Member for Euroa, Annabelle Cleeland, met with members of Euroa Arboretum to discuss the current state of the sector.
“The crew at the Euroa Arboretum are passionate about protecting the local environment and put in an incredible amount of volunteer work,” Ms Cleeland said.
“There is serious concern that underinvestment in seed strategy will result in targets being massively undershot.
“Effective seed strategy will see secure supply of climate adapted and genetically diverse seed for large scale restoration.
“A lot of time has been invested by the Euroa Arboretum into alternative solutions to meeting seed procurement targets across the Goulburn Broken catchment.”
Euroa Arboretum has completed a funding proposal to develop large scale Seed Production Areas and Seedbank facilities for the Goulburn Broken catchment.
“Unfortunately, the rate of return on wild seed harvest is negligible and there are regulations around what can be harvested from wild populations,” Ms Cleeland said.
“The proposal put forward by the Euroa Arboretum includes 20 hectares of seed production across three local sites, a new seedbank facility and upgrades to existing facilities at the Arboretum.
“This plan could be adapted and utilised across catchments across Eastern Victoria.
“They have a strong vision and I hope the Victorian Government is taking their concerns seriously.”