29 May, 2014

VicForests should be chopped

Peter Campbell
The Age, Letter (not published yet), 29 May 2014

The Victorian Government should cease subsidising VicForests, its loss-making logging business . Most of the logged forest logged ends up as low value woodchips, the market for which has just collapsed with the Japanese-owned South East Fibre Exports woodchip mill no longer accepting Victorian woodchips (The Age, 29/5/14).

However, VicForests continues to log our remaining wonderful native forests, including Toolangi State Forest that wasn't burnt during the Black Saturday bushfires. Professor David Lindenmeyer has repeatedly warned that Leadbeaters possum, Victoria's faunal emblem, is destined for extinction if VicForests continues to log our Central Highlands forests.

Instead, the Victorian Government should support the community-led proposal to create the Great Forest National Park to protect our scarce remaining native forests, rather than continue to destroy them.

It makes much more sense to create long-terms jobs in managing and protecting our forests and associated tourism. These forests harbour the tallest flowering trees in the world. In addition, the forests provide valuable water.

There is more than enough plantation timber resource available than can immediately provide a substitute timber resource.

We are just lacking the political will and courage to stop the logging and create the urgently needed new national park that will benefit all Victorians.

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