NEWS 30 December 2022 |
Page updated: 20/01/2023
While many Victorians enjoy a well-earned summer break, nefarious operations are afoot in the Dandenong Ranges National Park.
Government department Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMV) are salvage logging parts of the park – one of our popular and oldest in the state.
These unprecedented operations will remove the least flammable parts of the storm-impacted forest – all under the guise of fire management and storm clean-up.
Threatened and vulnerable native wildlife desperately need habitat in forests recovering from storm events. Yellow-bellied and Greater Gliders, Powerful and Sooty Owls all have records in and adjacent to the proposed logging operations.
The day after the violent wind storms rocked local communities in June 2021, contentious loggers VicForests allegedly flew over the Dandenong Ranges to assess if the storm damage could feed its unsustainable pulp and timber contracts.
Now it appears FFMV are using fire management legislation to override national park and conservation laws – all so taxpayer-funded VicForests can take habitat out of the national park to feed their struggling pulp and timber contracts.
In meetings with community groups the Department of Land Water and Planning (DELWP) indicated that the logs removed from the national park will be sold, with the funds being split between DELWP and state-owned logging company VicForests (who are conducting the works).
VicForests can’t be trusted. After the devastating Black Summer fires, they plundered critical wildlife refuge areas. They’ve logging steep slopes and high-conservation value forests. They’re tearing up future national parks using whatever loophole they can.
Our elected leaders need to stop aiding in this destruction and start looking after nature in Victoria.
Yet we keep seeing these cynical proposals, despite public commitments that the “Andrews Labor Government has no intention to log in National Parks” and mountains of evidence that salvage logging increases fire severity.
We’re working closely with Southern Dandenongs Landcare to run habitat value surveys in areas proposed for logging to make sure both FFMV and VicForests won’t get away with logging habitat in the park.
As acclaimed forest ecologist David Lindenmayer said in the recent Age expose, “I’ve never heard of this happening in a national park in Australia – it’s entirely inappropriate”.
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Page last updated: 30/12/2022