12 November 2010
The Wilderness Society has cautiously welcomed the Labor Party’s promise to support and fund a stakeholder negotiation process to resolve the state’s long-running forest disputes.
“However we are disappointed that this announcement fails to listen to community concerns to protect of our high conservation value native forests and puts the onus on stakeholders in the debate to solve the issue,” said The Wilderness Society’s Victorian Forest Campaigner Luke Chamberlain.
“We welcome the recognition from the Brumby government that just like in Tasmania, the Victorian native forest logging industry is in crisis and needs reform.”
“As in Tasmania, we will take up the challenge and enter these negotiations in good faith,”
“However this does not alter the expectation we have always held that the state government immediately stop logging in Victoria’s high conservation value forests, rule out the burning of native forests for power generation and help move the industry into Victoria’s plantation resource."
“Our native forests are facing a biodiversity crisis after years of over-logging. Our willingness to enter into talks does not absolve the state government of responsibility to show leadership in protecting Victoria’s forests.”
“The commitment to abolish VicForests is a welcome acknowledgment that the agency has failed both economically and environmentally, and that non-timber values such as carbon, water and biodiversity must be prioritised by the new agency.”
“Reinstating pre-logging surveys for East Gippsland is also a good decision, but it must be enacted immediately, and should apply to the whole state, not just one region.
For further comment contact: Luke Chamberlain m: 0424 098 729
Gavan McFadzean m: 0417 754 023