footprint

Basalt to Bay region emcompasses the local government areas of Moyne Shire and Warrnambool City, which makes up 4% of the land area of Victoria. Main centres of population are Warrnambool City, Port Fairy, Mortlake and Koroit.

The predominant activity in the land around the settlements is agricultural -- grazing livestock, cropping, horticulture, timber, and quarrying volcanic rocks.  The region contains crown reserves, which are popular tourist destinations. These include Tower Hill, Mt Eccles, Belfast and the Bay of Islands Coastal Reserves, Mortlake Common and Hopkins Falls. Along with numerous small reserves, they constitute a minority of the land area and are isolated fragments of former ecological communities.

The vegetation that would once have covered much of our region has been removed. Replacement shade and shelter programs have occurred with cypress species, sugar gums and others -- commenced during government programs such as the rise of Landcare in the 1970s. One of the consequences of large scale clearing has been that Moyne Shire in particular now retains less than 1% of its original native character, and most of that is coastal.