Parks Victoria are putting together a Master Plan for the You Yangs Region. Submission deadline is 16 October.

We, and the koalas, urgently need your input.

An email letter is the best way to get your voice heard. You can say what you want about the You Yangs and Serendip Sanctuary, and what’s important to you.

(Note: Parks Victoria and the consultants GHD Consulting have created a survey, but it is somewhat leading, unclear at times, you are unable to skip questions, and there is little room for comments. See link and suggestions at bottom of page if you want to fill it out.  You can of course do both the survey and a written submission)

wild koala You Yangs


Suggestion for an email letter submission:

    • Write from the heart, about how the You Yangs has personally affected you. Give examples of actual things that have happened to you, and their impact.
    • Mention the wildlife as much as you can.
    • Mention climate change, dying trees and the lack of water in the park. Read why climate change is killing koalas here. 
    • Talk about what you think the future should be for the You Yangs region. Is it important that the wildlife of the You Yangs survives? Should there be more protection for them, from off-leash dogs, vehicle traffic, bushfires and climate change? Why does it matter to you? Is it important that there are quiet places to go and watch wildlife, or hike, or photograph nature?
    • Mention other visitors you’ve met, especially international, interstate or those who have travelled far.
    • Be as reasonable, calm, practical and sensible as you can be. But also use emotion. For example:

“I was having a really tough week because of xxxxx and feeling quite down. Getting out in nature, weeding, and sharing the day with people of all ages, from all backgrounds, really picked me up. I felt 100 times better.”  


“I never knew there were koalas in the You Yangs. I used to go there about once a year. Now I go about twice a month with my friends, and I pull out weeds every time. I think of those little koalas out there, and it makes me more determined to do something to help them.”


“I spend a lot of my time alone. But I made friends with another of the volunteers on Koala Clancy day. Now we always go to the Little River pub/Lara bakery after volunteering, and enjoy a beer/coffee together. It makes my life less lonely.”

You Yangs master plan volunteers weeding

Well-written accounts from people who are representative of the population work well.  If you want more information we have created a detailed overview of our response to the You Yangs Master Plan here.  The Terms of Reference of the project can be viewed here.

Address your letter to:


Include the date, your full name, address, email address and telephone number.  They probably won’t call, but if they do they will be pleasant and professional.

DEADLINE: 16 October 2019

community volunteering You Yangs

Suggestions for filling out the survey:


Link to Survey:

Say YES to (or mention in comments):
  • YES Activity: Viewing wildlife
  • YES Explore protection of wildlife corridors and connection to the broader ecology, including a wildlife protection area in the southeast corner of the You Yangs Regional Park.
  • YES Feral animal and plant control (mention in comments)
  • YES off-leash dog control (mention in comments)
  • YES  Purchasing of goods & services – give an overview, with costs if you can, of how much your visit contributes to the local economy
  • YES New interpretive signage about flora and fauna
  • YES  New entries to the You Yangs, including Toynes Road
  • YES Upgrading toilet facilities


Say NO to:
  • NO  Annual Events Program


These sound really great but there are many local venues for these that are more appropriate than sensitive wildlife parks like the You Yangs and Serendip. Large events are noisy, disruptive to wildlife and all normal park users, come with huge temporary carparks, inevitable rubbish, and trampling of native vegetation. Parks Victoria encourage us all to tread lightly on our national park estate.
  • NO  Childrens Play Spaces


Nature is playground enough. There are multiple playgrounds, urban parks and venues around Lara. Urban parks tend to have little wildlife. This is due to disturbance, traffic, destruction of native ecosystems to make play, picnic and barbecue spaces and carparks. Serendip and the You Yangs are not urban recreation spaces. We suspect that developers are applying pressure to turn these public parks into recreation spaces to further their ambitions of surrounding those parks with high density housing.
  • NO  School camping – see why above
  • NO  Accommodation options in the park


As a tour operator, we welcome accommodation options in the area. But they should be on private land around the park, not within the park. The local economy benefits more from privately-owned accommodation, and there is no impact on the park flora and fauna.

tree planting by community groups You Yangs region


Thanks so much for your time and ongoing support for the koalas and wildlife of the You Yangs!

Janine, Roger and the team at Koala Clancy Foundation and Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours.



How climate change is affecting koalas:

About Koala Clancy Foundation’s tree planting program:

Echidna Walkabout & Koala Clancy Foundation’s response to the You Yangs Master Plan process:

You Yangs Master Plan Terms of Reference:


Koalas & Bushfires: How You Can Help

Globally, koalas are the face of Australia’s terrible bush fires.  It is estimated that more than...

About Koala YuYu

YuYu Origin of name: Named by one of our best supporters after her pet, but changed a little to...

Cockatoos of the Grampians (Gariwerd)

See up to 7 of Australia's 14 species of cockatoos in the Grampians (Gariwerd) More cockatoos live...

Delightful little fish of Ningaloo Reef

Details of some of the reef fish we see snorkelling at Ningaloo Reef Western Australia, and how we record them for conservation purposes.

About Koala Bobo

Bobo Origin of name: Suggested by Wildlife Guide Kirby - seemed to fit with YuYu Known since: Bobo...

Koala Tree Planting around the You Yangs, Victoria

The purpose of our community information events and this article is to get trees planted for...

Tourists: Did you know you planted trees in Australia?

social enterprise wildlife tour operator Echidna Walkabout runs popular wildlife tours for small groups of international and local travellers – all tours contribute financially to wildlife by planting trees & creating habitat. In 2020, our not for profit Koala Clancy Foundation planted 9000 trees for koalas on behalf of our tourists.

About Koala Anzac

Anzac Origin of name: Two other male koalas in the area were named Tim Tam and Vegemite – both...

You Yangs Koala Research Report 2017

As part of our social enterprise mission, wildlife tour operator Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours...

NATURE TOURS   arrow-white-20