Protesters have taken to Blackburn’s streets to demand an end to logging near waterways.
Demonstrators, led by Environment Victoria, camped outside Mitcham state Labor MP Tony Robinson’s office this month to demand the Consumer Affairs Minister lobby for a better deal for the environment.
Environment Victoria spokeswoman Amelia Young said locals were demanding “real action to protect forests and rivers – the first and most important step to saving water”.
While another environment group, the Melbourne Water Catchment Network, has started a marginal seats campaign to convince the Labor Party to put an end to logging near water catchments.
Network spokesman Simon Birrell said the logging reduced water flow into Melbourne’s dams.
He said the group was putting pressure on state Labor MPs, including Mr Robinson, Bob Stensholt (Burwood) and Kirstie Marshall (Forest Hill) to lobby colleagues to end logging near the dams.
“Logging reduces water output harvesting from Melbourne’s established dams,” Mr Birrell said. “The State Government’s own scientific research shows that if logging was banned by 2010, the annual water flow to Melbourne would increase by 16GL in 40 years.”
But Mr Robinson said the scientific research on logging near catchments was still being debated.
He said mountain ash was logged near the catchments and it was an important high-end timber product.
Mr Stensholt intended to consult with the water catchment network and said he had a background in water management and took an interest in the issue.