Help shape the
future of Victoria's
Central Highlands

The Victorian government has extended the deadline for public feedback until Tuesday, 6 May 2024.

It’s time to celebrate and protect Victoria’s breathtaking forests. 

The Victorian government wants to hear from people across Victoria about what makes the Central Highlands so special. This will shape future plans for how the forests of the Central Highlands are cared for and protected. 

We think these breathtaking forests are extraordinary – they’re habitat for endangered animals and safe havens for ancient trees. They’re the lungs of communities, hubs for tourism, and magical places to rest and play. They are ancient, unceded Country. 

Here are three things we’re calling for to ensure these forests are looked after properly and supported to thrive for generations:

  1. Create the Great Forest National Park to connect forests across Victoria’s Central Highlands and protect them from mining and logging  
  1. Joint management of native forests with Traditional Owners 
  1. Assess the Central Highlands for UNESCO World Heritage listing 

Until 29 April 2024, you can share why the Central Highlands is important to you and call on the Victorian government to make sure these irreplaceable forests are protected for generations to come. 

Scroll down for more information on the consultation process and how you can participate. 

How to take action

Fill out the survey

On the Engage Victoria consultation portal, a survey will ask you a few questions about why the Central Highland forests are important to you, and how you think they should be looked after.

Scroll down for our guide on how to complete the survey.

Drop a pin on the map

Using the interactive map on the Engage Victoria consultation portal, you can drop a pin on places that are important to you, and share why.

To have maximum impact, we encourage you to complete both the survey and map.


Protecting breathtaking forests for generations to come.

How do I participate? 

From 1 January this year, the Victorian government ended logging in state forests. This is the outcome of decades of community groups, Traditional Owners, citizen scientists, activists and environmental lawyers working together. 

Now, the Victorian government is deciding how forests across the state should be cared for and protected into the future. Our government wants to hear from people across the state about why these forests are special to all you, and what you think their future should look like. 

By sharing your thoughts, you’re helping to make sure our decision-makers know why the Central Highlands are so important to so many of us – so they can make solid plans to protect and celebrate these forests for generations to come. 

There are two steps to have your say: 

  1. Fill out the survey  
  1. Drop a pin on the map 

You have until Monday 29 April to participate. It will take only a couple of minutes of your time. 

Head to the Engage Victorian consultation portal via the button below, then click the blue 'Participate' button to get started.

Click ‘Start survey’ to begin the survey. 

The first question asks: Which state forests are you interested in?  

We encourage you to select the option ‘All of the above’ from the bottom of the list, to emphasise that these forests matter as a whole rather than in isolation.  

The second question asks: What best describes how you currently experience this area of the forest? 

This is where you can share your personal reflections and stories. There is no right or wrong answer here – what's most important is to be honest and genuine, to ensure the Victorian government receives a detailed snapshot of how people across the state engage with these forests. You might like to mention specific forests or places in specific forests. 

The third question asks: How often would visit this area of the forest? 

Thinking specifically about the areas you reflected on in the previous question, select the option that is most appropriate to you. 

The fourth question asks: What is important to you about the Central Highlands state forest area? 

This is where you may choose to elaborate on your experiences from question two or mention additional reasons for why you believe the forests of the Central Highlands are so important.  

Perhaps you are passionate about protecting forests as habitat for threatened wildlife. Perhaps you have been a long-time forest activist and have seen firsthand the damage caused by unlawful logging. You might enjoy the forests for recreation and want to see them preserved for future generations. You may have personal ties to the forests in other ways. 

The fifth question asks: Looking to the future, how could the Central Highlands state forest be improved? 

This is where you can talk about how you want to see the Central Highlands cared for into the future.  

Below, we have summarised the three things EJA believes is essential for the long-term protection and celebration of these forests. You may wish to include this information in your response.  

The final questions ask about a few demographic aspects, whether you are filling the survey out on behalf of an organisation, and if you’d like to be added to the mailing list for this consultation. Fill those out, and then click ‘Submit’ to send off your answers! 

After you have finished the survey, return to the ‘Participate’ page. Click ‘View the map’ to load the map. 

You will see a map of the entire Central Highlands area. Click ‘Add a pin’ and use the map to find the areas of the forests that are important to you. You can answer the questions using a summarised version of what you included in your survey responses. 

Click ‘Submit’ to add your comment. You can drop multiple pins on the map. 

What should I include? 

The Victorian government wants to hear from people across the state about why the Central Highlands are so special, and how they should be cared for into the future. 

For this reason, we encourage you to draw from your personal experiences and values.  

We have outlined some additional information about what EJA believes should be part of any future plans for the Central Highlands. You may like to include this information in your response, too. 

Community groups and advocacy organisations have been calling for the Central Highlands to become the Great Forest National Park, covering all of the state forests from Tallarook in the north, to the alps in the east.

The Great Forest National Park would permanently protect these irreplaceable forests of the Central Highlands and provide a strong basis for their recovery and healing.  

This is essential to help safeguard the homes of animals on the path to extinction, like Leadbeater’s Possums and Greater Gliders.

It will mean logging and extractive industries can never be re-introduced in these forests.

It will kickstart forest rejuvenation and economic opportunity for local communities.

First Nations people have cared for Country since the beginning of time.

The Central Highlands covers the unceded lands of Wurundjeri, Gunaikurnai, Taungurung and Bunurong peoples – all who have deep and extensive knowledge about caring for their land .

Their knowledge and custodianship must be central to future plans for the Central Highlands, including respect for law and obligations to Country.  

World Heritage status protects the best of the best of the planet’s natural and cultural sites.

Through the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, listing demands these places of outstanding universal values are given the highest levels of protection and funded accordingly.

Around Australia, we have already seen World Heritage status offer vital protection to places that would have otherwise been irreversibly harmed – like the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

It’s time to add Victoria’s breathtaking forests to the list.