ABC rural news, Thursday, 03/11/2011
The Victorian Government is proposing changes to Timber Production Code of Practice that could result in increased logging in native forests.
The changes give the final say on logging in protected areas to the secretary of the Department of Sustainability and Environment.
Under the changes, the secretary could over-ride the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act protections and allow logging in previously protected areas.
Parliamentary secretary for Forestry, Gary Blackwood, says the changes would also lead to comprehensive studies of endangered species in native forests.
"It's about allowing us to use that 10 per cent of public native forest estate that we have available for timber production," he said.
"It's about allowing us to use that in a more common sense and practical manner and it's about perhaps providing the opportunity to take a bit of pressure off that production forest because of the threat of a threatened species being found in that area."
Green groups are opposing the changes, saying they'll be detrimental to the protection of endangered species.