The Minister for Environment, John Thwaites, today announced that the Mt Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board will take over management of the highly successful Ovens Alpine Nursery from the State government.
Mr Thwaites said that for 15 years the nursery has provided alpine resorts, Parks Victoria, the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) and Kosciusko National Park with indigenous plants and seed for use in alpine rehabilitation projects.
“Many of the plants and seeds being propagated at the Ovens Alpine Nursery cannot be purchased anywhere else. In the recovery effort from the 2002 Alpine fires, the nursery has been a vital resource for National Park and alpine resort revegetation works.
“We’ve reached a stage where the Alpine Nursery has outgrown its roots and it makes sense for the Mount Hotham Resort Management Board, the nurseries biggest customer, to take it on,” Mr Thwaites said.
Through the Ovens Alpine Nursery, located between Myrtleford and Bright, alpine resorts have been able to source exactly the right plants for a range of uses and ongoing research will mean more plant species and better ways of using them.
The Alpine Resorts 2020 Strategy launched last year cites the alpine resort management boards as responsible for rehabilitating degraded areas to achieve a net vegetation gain. It also stipulates that management boards must improve management of ski field areas to protect, enhance and restore vegetation communities.
The nursery will continue to be run on a not-for-profit basis and the Mt Hotham Board will rent the nursery facilities and an office from DSE. The Board will use the site to propagate native alpine vegetation and will run the business side of the nursery.
“The Ovens nursery is also helping alpine resorts and other land managers in the high country to reverse the State’s decline in native vegetation, the key goal of the statewide native vegetation framework,” Mr Thwaites said.