Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Victoria was leading the way not just on stopping global warming, but also protecting nature and supporting life on Earth? There’s still time for election 2018 to deliver for both nature and our climate.
In the lead-up to the 2014 state election, the Andrews Labor Opposition announced that, if elected, it would establish a taskforce advising the Premier on priorities for the future of the logging industry and protecting our forests.
Since then, our colleagues at the Wilderness Society and other environment groups have worked hard on the Forest Industry Taskforce to secure protection for our forests and the declaration of the Great Forest National Park. Trade union, industry and conservation negotiators reached clear agreement that: “new parks and conservation reserves, including national parks, are an agreed essential component of Victoria’s conservation future. They will protect forested ecosystems and ecosystem services, and will maximise the persistence of vulnerable species in the wild, especially the Leadbeater’s possum.”
But so far the Andrews government has failed to respond to the taskforce’s recommendations. Every single day, we lose more rainforest and habitat for endangered species.
It’s time to stop this madness. In a period of global warming and drought, we need to protect our native forests and water catchments, not destroy them.
In September this year, the major retailers of wood and paper sourced from Victoria’s native forests put the industry and the government on notice. From 2020, they won’t accept products that don’t carry Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, which state-owned logging company VicForests has repeatedly failed to achieve.It’s time to stop this madness. In a period of global warming and drought, we need to protect our native forests and water catchments, not destroy them.Click To Tweet
We urgently need leadership on this issue and a plan to protect our highest conservation-value forests by creating new national parks. We also need to support the industry’s exit from native forests and into plantations, and encourage new transition industries such as timber plantations and tourism.
Environment Victoria will continue to support those organisations, like the Wilderness Society, leading on this issue.
Header: Logging at Kinglake by Karena Goldfinch. Courtesy Wilderness Society.
This article appeared in Environment Victoria News, Issue 30, Spring 2018.