"The past is never fully gone. It is absorbed into the present and the future. It stays to shape what we are and what we do."
Sir William Deane, Governor-General of Australia, Inaugural Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture, August 1996.

The Toorongo Plateau

This article is being  developed, but the gallery below shows areas on the plateau as they were in about 1942.



All the following is draft text only.

On the Toorongo Plateau near Noojee, high quality mountain forest of (Eucalyptus regnans, E. delegatensis and E. nitens) was killed by wildfire in 1926, and regenerated naturally.  However, another significant fire in 1932 killed the young eucalypts before they were old enough to produce seed,  and the area degenerated into scrubland.  In the 1940s and 50s a reforestation project was initiated to plant the Plateau with eucalypts; the Loch Valley pine plantation was established over the same period.  Seedlings (pine and hwd?) were raised at a nursery at Loch Valley.  However, with the focus turning to pine plantations, hardwood planting on the Plateau lapsed.  In was not until the late 1980s to early 1990s  that another large-scale hardwood reforestation project was undertaken on the Plateau.  (another story here).

From Gary Featherston - "The plateau was harvested prior to 1926 and through to the 1939 salvage. There were a number of sawmills on the plateau and a primary school.
Logs also went to Tanjil Bren and Fumina. After the 1939 Bushfire Royal Commission the sawmills in the forest were moved to Noojee, Drouin, Willow Grove and Trafalgar.
It was the fires that caused the deforestation not the harvesting. The early harvesting left the larger trees as they were too big to handle.
There was at least one tramway running up Icy Creek. The history is recorded on some websites but I cannot recall a good book."


From Gary Featherston - The plateau was burnt in 1926 and then again in 1939 that killed the existing ash and shining gum forests.
The front of Mt Toorongo was regularly burnt by the farmers in the valley below.
It may have even been a fair bit of rainforest. We found a nothofagus stump that was more than 2m diameter.
The Timber Industry Strategy included funds to reforest all of the stands that failed after the 1939 fires.
The Toorongo plateau was the largest area identified but we also did a lot of smaller silver wattle stands.
The sites had become prone to frost so we planted with shining gum.
It was a five year project that included extraction roads.
Owen Salkin was the project forester and he knows a lot about the project.