Emerald Link Local Engagement
East Gippsland’s Emerald Link proposes to link existing parks and reserves to establish a continuous network of protected forests from the Australian alps to the East Gippsland coast. East Gippsland is the only place on mainland Australia where intact forest eco-systems stretch from alpine to coastal environments. The Emerald Link seeks government and private investment in nature-based tourism and outdoor recreation in the region. It proposes establishment of the Sea to Summit forest trail—a multi-day hiking trail / car-touring route, connecting the coastal town of Bemm River to the summit of Mt. Goongerah. After six years of development, GECO and TWS launched the Emerald Link proposal in December 2017. Local business and community support has been strong. However, a gap in the capacity of GECO and TWS to progress the project in the region has been identified. The project seeks to grow awareness and support for the Emerald Link through engaging with tourism bodies, operators and outdoor recreation user groups to gather ideas on how the proposal could be advanced in a manner consistent with the communities’ needs and desires and with forest conservation needs, Recruiting support from local businesses and community groups for the proposal, Progressing existing positive engagement with traditional owner groups, Collating community, business and traditional owner (as appropriate) feedback, ideas and proposals that sit within the Emerald Link concept into a formal report to be presented to governments and published.