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Superb Parrot protected from logging

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May 11, 2009

Media Release

The Victorian National Parks Association today welcomed the Federal Government's decision to protect the vulnerable Superb Parrot by halting the logging of its River Red Gum forest habitat in NSW.

Nick Roberts, VNPA's Red Gum Icons Project Co-ordinator, said the intervention by Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett could not have come sooner.

"The Superb Parrot, listed as nationally vulnerable under the Federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, has been losing critical River Red Gum habitat as a result of logging in NSW," he said.

"The federal intervention re-enforces the Brumby Government's recent announcement to protect these internationally listed wetlands through the creation of 91,000 hectares of Red Gum forest parks and reserves.

"We urge the NSW Government to follow Victoria's lead and seize the unique opportunity to permanently protect this incredibly important environment through the creation of national parks.

"The protection of these NSW forests will also ensure wildlife, like the Superb Parrot, will be around for generations to come."

Mr Roberts said the creation of the national parks and reserves in Victoria, with the help of the government's major restructuring and investment package for the region, will have a positive impact on the region's economy.

"Although some seem to believe NSW will lose jobs through the protection of these forests, this has not proved to be the case in Victoria, which will in fact experience a net gain in regional employment," he said.

A PricewaterhouseCoopers report identified 23 new jobs and about $152 million over 10 years in benefits to regional Victoria if improved facilities, including investment in accommodation and visitor services, are developed as part of new River Red Gum parks.

This was in addition to the Victorian Government's announcement of 30 new park rangers and 10 new jobs for fencing and thinning.

"It is time to protect these iconic River Red Gum forests on both sides of the river to ensure a healthy environment and sustainable regional jobs," Mr Roberts said.

For interviews please contact Nick Roberts on 0429 945 429.

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