The Port Phillip and Western Port region is Victoria’s most diverse and complex by virtue of its location, geography and demography. It encompasses the densely populated urban Melbourne, sprawling outer city suburbs, growth centres on the urban fringe and rich rural land and natural parklands.
The region’s rural land possesses great economic value, contributes around $1billion to Victoria’s economy every year. Protecting both its monetary and biodiversity value is an important role of organisations such as the Port Phillip and Westernport CMA.
Total area: 1.3 million hectares
Land uses: Approximately 13% urban, 45% rural farmland, 42% forest
Demography: Over 4 million people (more than two thirds of Victoria’s population, 1.4 million dwellings, 180,000 business locations)
Agriculture: Gross value of annual agricultural production = more than $1 billion (4,500 commercial agricultural holdings produce 15% of Victoria’s gross value of agricultural production).
- The region has over 900 wetlands, including four of international significance
- The region’s non-urban areas, such as parks, open spaces, waterways and wetlands contain significant remnant native vegetation and threatened flora and fauna
- The region is home to two of the state’s fauna emblems – the helmeted honeyeater and leadbeaters possum, and the marine emblem – the Weedy Seadragon
- Around 340 of the region’s flora species and around 200 mammal, amphibian, bird, fish and reptile species are considered under threat of local or total extinction.
- Phillip Island’s Little Penguin Parade
- The Sherbrooke Forest and the Dandenong Ranges including Puffing Billy at Belgrave, and the upper Yarra forests
- You-Yangs and the Brisbane Ranges
- The renowned wine districts of the Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula and Macedon Ranges
- Healesville Sanctuary
- The beaches of Port Phillip Bay and the Mornington Peninsula
- The City of Melbourne with its many popular retail precincts, restaurants and major events including the AFL Grand Final, Melbourne Cup, Melbourne F1 Grand Prix, Boxing Day Cricket Test and the Australian Tennis Open.