03 December, 2008

LETTER: Whales in a forest

Jeremy Fitzpatrick, Heidelberg
Letter to the editor, The Age, December 3, 2008

I would like to question Phillip Dalidakis' facts (Comment & Debate, 1/12), as he asks environmentalists to roll over so that the forestry industry can continue unchecked in its, oh, so sustainable enterprise.

As reported by The Age in January, figures obtained after a freedom of information request to VicForests show that, based on its industry knowledge, more than 85 per cent of the wood derived from Victoria's native forests ends up as woodchips, waste and sawdust — hardly high value resources.

Dalidakis quotes a seemingly inconsequential threat when discussing the forest industry's effect on our water supplies; a percentage figure which, in real terms, equates to millions of litres of water. How is the industry justified in posing any threat whatsoever to Melbourne's water supply as yet another drought looms this summer?

To our great fortune, outdated ideology has saved some magnificent tracts of Victoria; perhaps Dalidakis should take a trip to Brown Mountain or, rather, those parts of it that VicForests hasn't yet had the opportunity to clear-fell — or, as he puts it, manage.

I'm sure that whaling companies wished that environmentalists could have stopped their futile debate too.

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