John Tucker, Montmorency
Letter, The Age, 26/5/09
So, Lyall Johnson, we need more surveying to ensure that mapping boundaries protects the "greatest amount of old-growth forest available, while also protecting timber jobs". Then why is the Government continuing to allow logging in contentious areas, knowing that the maps upon which it relies, and which VicForests exploits (undue influence or not), are faulty? Given that such "logging" employs approximately six chaps on bulldozers and one bloke with a match for a few weeks, what jobs are actually being protected by prevaricating?
Perhaps it's time for all sides to remember that governing is meant to be done for the benefit of the people — not for the benefit of companies, in the hope that they will pass on some of this benefit to the people in the form of jobs.
We need an end to the false dichotomies of economy versus environment. We need a recognition that people do need to eat, but that they also need to breathe. We need the courage to ask not "how can we best protect jobs/trees/football?" but to ask "what do we need to do to ensure that we leave the world a better place, given what we know?".
If that means restructuring society or providing free retraining and income support for miners, wilderness society workers or anyone else, then bring it on.