Three new national parks could be formed if the state government takes on new environmental advice.
These would include a huge Wombat-Lerderderg national park and a new 15,126-hectare tract of national park land in the Pyrenees that would expand on a current nature reserve.
The existing 2498-hectare Mount Buangor State Park would also transition into a larger new national park.
They are part of the recommendations put forward in a report on Friday by the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC). Their findings were put together after the state government requested an investigation into public land use in Victoria's central west.
While conservationists tend to favour the formation of national parks, other forest users such as prospectors, shooters and trail bikers tend to advocate for access to allow wider use of the bush. More than 600 public submissions were made to the VEAC when the organisation began drafting their recommendations in 2017.
Matt Ruchel, the executive director of the Victorian National Parks Association, said the possible new parks had the potential to be a "real drawcard" to encourage visitors to the area.
He said that it had been almost a decade since the last major additions to the national parks system in Victoria.
"New national parks in our state's central west would be an impressive Andrews Government legacy for future generations of Victorians, and show real leadership on nature conservation," he said. "National parks are great for people and nature."
READ MORE: Public views divided on Wombat Forest review
The proposed large new national park of Wombat/ Lerderderg would comprise 49,553 hectares, including the current Lerderderg State Park and Wombat State Forest.
The VEAC says this would help protect water catchments and headwaters, as well as habitat for rare and threatened animals.
Around 380 species including the powerful owl and the greater glider would be given greater protection if the parks were introduced.
New and expanded protected zones would be formed around the Wombat/ Lerderderg National area, including regional parks around Hepburn and Blackwood.
The recommendations will be tabled in parliament, then the government has around six months to respond formally. It could, however, decide to take up the recommendations sooner.
It is likely to be at least 2020 - and probably towards the latter end of the year - before any changes would come into effect if the recommendations were approved. Creating new national parks requires legislation to be passed.
Victorian National Parks Association data shows the state's parks generate about 20,000 jobs, attract about 50 million annual visits and prompt tourists to spend about $2.1 billion per year.
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