13 December, 2007

ACTION: Armstrong Catchment Letter writing kit

Take a few minutes to write an email to people who can stop this catchment from being logged. Use these points as a guide but make your letter personal.

You can also send the same email to the various people who make the decisions. You could also phone them to express your concerns.

  • This is a pristine unspoiled water catchment providing Melbourne with the purest drinking water - 2 billion litres per year, or 815 Olympic swimming pools.
  • Forest within the Armstrong is scheduled for logging from Saturday 1 December 2007.
History of water catchments
  • A number of Melbourne’s water catchments were protected in the 19th and 20th Centuries, including the Maroondah and O’Shaughnessy.
  • These areas were protected to the point where public access is prohibited. Fines up to $2,000 are enforced.
  • The Armstrong catchment has the same aspects as protected catchments. However, it will be logged.
Logging regime
  • Clearfell logging involves the broad scale clearing of forest areas and has a dramatic impact on the landscape.
  • Clearfell logging is followed by a high-intensity burn, up to 1,000 degrees.
Water loss
  • It has been shown that clearfell reduces water flows by 50%. Also, it takes up to 250 years for the area to recover. This was shown by the Maroondah Experiment (Melbourne Water).
  • When logging begins in the Armstrong, this catchment will be shut off from Melbourne’s water supply. This is so that logging can take place. This is to prevent pollution from the industrial scale of logging operation (soil sedimentation, erosion and fuel spills)
  • It is a south-facing catchment and recieves a lot less heat from sun. It therefore contains a lot more moisture than other forest types.
Water more valuable
  • Water is 5 times more valuable in economic terms than woodchips used for paper.
  • VicForests, the government agency responsible for sale of wood including from this area, made a net loss last year of $17,000. It is being propped up by taxpayer dollars.
  • The government has made a significant net loss.
  • The State government refuses to end the logging of Melbourne’s water catchments.
  • The Shire of Yarra Ranges have unanimously passed motion in objection to the State government for the continued logging of water catchments.
  • In this period of record-breaking drought, with Melbourne’s reservoirs at 40% it is ludicrous to be wasting water on this scale.
  • This is publicly owned forest which should be protected to ensure Melbourne’s water security.
Map of Melbourne's main water catchments

Victorian Minister for Environment
Hon. Gavin Jennings
Email – gavin.jennings@parliament.vic.gov.au
Phone - 9096 8830

Victorian Minister for Water
Tim Holding
Email - timothy.holding@parliament.vic.gov.au
Phone - 8684 8000

Tom Park, Managing Director and CEO
Email - tom.park@paperlinx.com.au
Phone - 8540 2333

Australian Paper
Jim Henneberry, Executive General Manager
Email – jim.henneberry@australianpaper.com.au

Shadow Minister for Environment
Andrea Coote MLC
Email - andrea.coote@parliament.vic.gov.au
Phone - 9681 9555

Shadow Minister for Water
Hon. Louise Asher
Email - louise.asher@parliament.vic.gov.au
Phone - 9592 9799

Melbourne Water
Cheryl Batagol
Email (personal assistant) – anne.jackson@melbournewater.com.au
Phone - 9235 7100

Department of Sustainaility and Environment (DSE)
Peter Harris
Email - peter.harris@dse.vic.gov.au
Phone - 9637 8765


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