Ballarat Environment Network
Ballarat Environment Network (BEN)
BEN was formed in 1993 as an initiative arising from the 1991 Ballarat Region Conservation Strategy. The Strategy identified the need for an umbrella organisation for the many environment and conservation-focused groups that existed in the Ballarat region. At that time, the region was identified as the area covered by the City of Ballaarat, the Borough of Sebastopol and the Shires of Ballarat, Creswick, Bungaree, Buninyong and Grenville. Since that time, the area of influence of BEN has expanded considerably.The region where BEN is active is a broad area of central and southern Victoria that stretches from Ararat in the west to Bacchus Marsh in the east and from Avoca and Daylesford in the north to Bannockburn and Colac in the south. It includes the municipalities of Ballarat City and Ararat Rural City and Hepburn, Pyrenees, Corangamite, Golden Plains, Colac-Otway and Moorabool Shires as well as parts of the areas covered by the North Central, Corangamite, Glenelg Hopkins and Port Phillip Catchment Management Authorities.
BEN manages 50 public reserves covering over 800 hectares for their biodiversity and conservation values, mostly in partnership with local groups.
The BEN charter
BEN was established with a number of specific purposes:
- To provide a single voice on environmental and conservation issues
- To provide access to member resources and expertise
- To develop a consistency of outlook on issues and avoid duplication of effort in dealing with particular issues
- To raise public awareness and promote wider understanding of environmental and conservation issues in the region through production of a regular newsletter, excursions, displays and other events
- To promote improvements in the local environment through coordinating and initiating particular activities and projects and lobbying for action on particular environmental issues
- To broaden interest in environmental issues in the community through assisting in expanding the involvement of people in member groups and developing networking between groups