NEWS 23 May 2023 |
Today as part of the annual state budget, the state government announced their plan to speed up the transition out of native forest logging.
It’s official. Native forest logging will end in Victoria on 1 January next year.
In about seven months you’re going to be living in a state that protects native wildlife habitat instead of smashing it up for pulp, paper, pallets and firewood.
This is a game-changer for nature. This is also a testament to the hard work, resilience and determination of the Victorian nature-loving community.
A massive thank you to everyone who emailed or called their elected representatives. To those who donated to our important work. To those who spread the word, joined citizen science expeditions, who again and again took action for our special places, creatures and habitats.
We’ve talked a lot about the trouble with VicForests. From breaking the laws that govern them, to their financial losses, to repeated failures to protect endangered wildlife like the iconic Greater Glider.
Now it’s time to talk about restoring and recovering what we’ve lost.
As part of the transition, the government will deliver a program to manage the 1.8 million hectares of public land currently available to log. This will be the largest expansion to our public forests in our state’s history.
Importantly, forestry workers will be supported through the transition. Forests will be assessed for protection in new national parks and for activities like camping, hunting, hiking, mountain biking and four-wheel driving. This will include opportunities for Traditional Owner management.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on what is planned for forest works. Our key concern is that the work forest fire agencies are doing is often indistinguishable from intensive logging practices.
While this news is an amazing step in the right direction, we’re still concerned about what else is in the budget for nature. We’ll share a detailed analysis soon.
Today is a powerful reminder that the state-sanctioned destruction of nature isn’t inevitable. It’s the consequence of poor decisions by the people we’ve elected and entrusted to look after nature. Better decisions can be made, if we demand them. And that’s what exactly our community did, for years on end.
Today it finally paid off.
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