15 May, 2008

THE AGE: Slug loggers too

Scott Bilby, Kensington
Letter, The Age, 15 May 2008

In "Plan to make timber industry pay for rain" (The Age, 11/5) the Victorian Government is deciding whether to make the plantation timber industry pay a fee for the rain that plantations soak up. This is because plantations reduce the amount of water that would otherwise flow into streams, thereby reducing water available for rural towns and the environment.

If the Government is so concerned, why does it allow the native timber industry to clearfell our precious native forests in water catchments that supply the majority of water to Melbourne?

Despite the very long drought and tough water restrictions, five of Melbourne's catchments are still available for logging. These catchments supply more than half of Melbourne's water, yet water supplies are reduced by up to 50% when we log them.

If the Government thinks it's a good idea to make the plantation timber industry pay for the water it soaks up, then it must also see the logic in making the native timber industry pay for the vast amount of water that is lost when they destroy the native forests in our water catchments.

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