20 February, 2008

MEDIA RELEASE: Latest Victorian forest and water catchment updates

Gavan McFadzean, The Wilderness Society
Created: 26 Oct 2006 | Last updated: 20 Feb 2008

Latest campaign successes:

  • The promise of protection of world class stands of old growth forests including Goolengook, and key rainforest and threatened wildlife habitat to existing National Parks in East Gippsland. In total this will add almost 36,000 hectares of forest to the reserve system to be protected under the National Parks Act
  • The creation of a Great Victorian Alpine National Park by adding 5,000 hectares to the Errinundra National Park, thus linking the Errinundra, Snowy and Alpine National Parks
  • The creation of a Cobboboonee National Park, with 27,000 ha under the National Parks Act, near Portland in the state’s far west, to protect the habitat of the Spotted-tailed Quoll, Southern Brown Bandicoot, Long Nosed Potoroo and Powerful Owl
  • A commitment to create new Redgum National Parks if recommended by the Victorian Environment Assessment Council. This should realise the protection of approximately 60,000 hectares of Redgum forests along the Murray and its tributaries

While this is a great result, there is much work to be done to ensure the Brumby government sticks to their promises. Furthermore, large areas of Victoria’s old growth forests and all of our water catchments available for logging were not protected, and it is here that the campaign now turns.

The State Government has committed to undertake further research into the impact that logging has on water supply, given that five of Melbourne’s catchments, supplying over half of our water, are remarkably still available for logging. With a decade of research already done, clearly showing that logging reduces water supplies by up to 50 per cent, we believe the case is irrefutable. Nevertheless we will undertake a campaign around this process to pressure government to end logging in our catchments.

The overwhelming environmental challenge facing us is climate change, and forest protection is a critical part of any climate change action plan. Globally, about 25 per cent of dangerous carbon emissions are caused by land clearing and logging, and last year’s logging in Victoria’s native forests released as much carbon into the atmosphere as a staggering 2.3 million cars for a year. Protecting forests buffers us from dangerous climate change and linking protected forest areas builds resilience into our ecosystems and helps avoid an extinction crisis for our native animals.

For more information, please contact:

Gavan McFadzean
Victorian Campaign Coordinator
Email: gavan.mcfadzean@wilderness.org.au
Mobile: 0414 754 023

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