Environment Victoria welcomes the Andrews government’s historic decision to immediately ban logging of old growth native forests and phase out native forest logging by 2030. The government has announced a multimillion-dollar transition plan to move away from native logging, a practice which has severe environmental impacts, including threatening critically endangered species like the Leadbeater’s Possum.
Environment Victoria CEO Jono La Nauze said this is an opportunity for the Andrews Government to set a positive example of how governments should transition away from harmful industries.
“Victoria has some of the most biodiverse and carbon-dense native forests in the world. We have been logging eight-hundred-year-old trees for woodchips, pulp and pallets,” said Mr La Nauze.
“The Andrews government has recognised native logging is a harmful practice that makes no economic sense. This 2030 deadline still means habitat destruction, carbon emissions and biodiversity loss will continue for the next decade.
“All the science also says we must stop logging in native forests. Ninety-four percent of a forests’ stored carbon ends up in the atmosphere when logged.
“The destruction and fragmentation of natural habitats that native birds and mammals depend on means Australia now has one of the highest extinction rates in the world.
“Our native forests are under increasing pressure and it makes sense to leave forests intact for the recreation and tourism that makes Victoria a great place to live.
“This announcement also means an end to logging in Victoria’s water catchments that has been reducing Melbourne’s water quality and supply.
“The transition will include millions of dollars in assistance to the industry to support workers and businesses as the sector is phased out over the next decade, giving dependent communities time and resources to secure other sources of economic activity.
“The missing detail we still need to see is the plan for permanent protecting these forests in new national parks including the Great Forest National Park, and the Emerald Link in East Gippsland.
“Logging in native forests has polarised Victorian communities for decades, and the Andrews government must be commended for this courageous decision. We hope this is the first of many steps towards securing the long-term conservation of our wildlife, which is some of the most diverse and important in Australia.”
Jono La Nauze, Environment Victoria CEO
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