22 May, 2008

MEDIA RELEASE: Major parties ignore communityconcern on forests

Jill Redwood, Environment East Gippsland
22nd May 2008

Environment East Gippsland has responded to the Federal Government’s report on the state of Australia’s forests as little more than a PR exercise.

"It’s little wonder that logging supporters like VAFI chime in with glowing compliments after pro-logging reports are produced on forests", said Jill Redwood of EEG. “No matter what flavour of government has been in over the decades, our forests have been and still are sacrificed as union pacifiers and exchanged for political donations. The only thing that's being 'sustained' is the parties' submission to the logging industry."

“What they didn’t announce yesterday from the report is that Australia has 10% less forests, 200,000 hectares less old growth and more threatened species than was reported in the 2003 report. The report also admits that about 1/3rd of these important conservation forests left remaining are still allowed to be clearfelled for timber and woodchips. Yet we’re told this is sustainable.”

“There are 1,290 forest dependent species classed as nationally rare and endangered. But the ALPs minister for forestry, Tony Burke, says he’s happy to keep the bulldozers knocking over Gippsland’s native forests. There’s been absolutely no change to more sensitive management of our environment since Ironbar Tuckey held the portfolio”.

“Thousands of Gippsland voters are extremely concerned about climate change, the loss of our wildlife, the destruction of our native forests by logging and the loss of water that results. But unfortunately these voters can’t match the political donations given by the large logging companies and unions that seem to influence the ALP, Liberal and National’s forest policies.”

“Tree growers in western Victoria are currently screaming out for a thousand workers to help process their wood. If jobs were really the concern, the CFMEU and the ALP would not support woodchipping but be looking at mature plantations for providing secure employment.

An NCS Pearson poll showed that 70% of East Gippslanders don’t want to see our forests turned into woodchips. Politicians must acknowledge this. Our public forests are far more precious as climate moderators and carbon stores than as woodchips, cardboard and union-pacifiers.”

For comment: Jill Redwood 5154 0145

No comments: