Phillip Island is recognised for its sensitive and unique landscapes, and it’s important they are protected and enhanced. To further this cause a newly formed group has developed named Phillip Island Land Alliance (PILA). PILA’s vision is ‘A connected community who respects and protects the unique and biodiverse environment of Phillip Island’. The inaugural alliance members include all 9 coastal community volunteer groups that manage their respective areas of the Phillip Island coast, in addition to Phillip Island Landcare Group and Phillip Island Conservation Society.
The idea of the alliance began through a 2020-21 Coastcare Victoria Community Grant applied for by Phillip Island Landcare Group in partnership with 5 Coast Action/Coastcare groups. The thinking was to bring together community groups that care for the land to share knowledge and resources.
The idea was supported by all Phillip Island’s coastal groups and was summarized well by Keith McDougall from Silverleaves Conservation Association; “Our group like many, has operated as a silo with limited scope. We are excited about the PILA idea, with Island wide conservation issues and a strong voice”.
The name PILA represents a strong voice, like a pillar represents a strong structure. Words from the terms of reference say, “We communicate with a unified voice and common objectives, to provide opportunities for networking, and a platform for a coordinated approach to funding applications and island wide environmental care”.
“The Phillip Island Land Alliance represents a gathering of groups who collectively advocate to protect and restore the biodiversity values of Phillip Island and this region. We acknowledge the First Peoples as Traditional Custodians of this land and recognise their continued care of this unique environment.
We come together to educate, connect and engage our community with the natural environment for the health and wellbeing of all, now and into the future”.
Individual community group membership varies from 10 to 100 people. As an alliance PILA’s membership voice totals around 400, providing a significantly stronger platform to achieve its objectives.
On May 12th 2022, PILA shared its launch with the release of the new Phillip Island Rabbit Strategy. As project managers of the rabbit strategy, the Bass Coast Landcare Network realised the value of the alliance in helping achieve the objectives of the strategy. Robbie Gray – Ecosystems Services Manager agreed, “The formation of PILA was timely. Having a single body representing the many active conservation groups makes engagement streamlined and widespread”. PILA believe it will be of interest to other key stakeholders on the Island, including Phillip Island Nature Parks, Bass Coast Shire Council, Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Totally Renewable Phillip Island and Western Port Water.
A big thanks to the Victorian State Government and Coastcare Victoria for their support through the 2020-21 Coastcare Victoria Community Grant. This was the impetus that provided the opportunity for PILA to begin.
For the first year the alliance has nominated the following people to help support the committee:
David Rooks – Chairperson, Prue Adamson – Secretary and Carmen Bush – Treasurer. For all enquiries on PILA email, firstname.lastname@example.org or phone David 0418 115 9355 or Prue 0437 687 070.
As of April 19th 2022 the inaugural member organisations include:
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