MEDIA RELEASE 7 November 2019 |
The announcement by the Andrews Government today to ‘cease immediately’ logging of old growth native forest in Victoria, and immediately exempt threatened species habitat from logging, is a ‘good first move’ and a significant step forward towards securing better management of Victoria’s native forests.
The announcement includes stopping logging in 186,000 hectares of native forest including:
- logging in remaining old growth forests to cease immediately, protecting around 90,000 hectares across eastern Victoria;
- 96,000 hectares of forest to be immediately exempt from logging, to protect Greater Gliders, Leadbeater’s Possum, and 35 other forest-dependent threatened species;
- a commitment to add the biggest addition to our reserve system in decades.
“The immediate stopping of logging in 186,000 hectares of native forest is significant for the conservation of species such as the Greater Glider, Leadbeater’s Possum and other threatened species which inhabit our beautiful publicly-owned forests,” said Matt Ruchel, Executive Director of the Victorian National Parks Association, a community-based conservation organisation.
“The ceasing of logging in these important native forest areas is a good first move. But nature needs more than just temporary short-term protections from imminent logging. We need and expect a long-term, permanent protection solution, such as through National Parks or a similar, that won’t risk these short-term temporary solutions being changed.”
“Stopping logging of these native forests will help reduce carbon, protect water supplies, and be a drawcard for visitors to these areas for rest and recreation.”
“But there will still be other large areas of habitat open to be damaged by logging.”
“Minister Lily D’Ambrosio and the government are to be congratulated for achieving these breakthroughs, but there will be future tests in ensuring full and timely delivery.”
“The commitment to phase out logging by 2030, another part of the state government’s announcement, as part of a 30-year forestry transition plan, is still a long way off, and should be sooner. This plan needs to be more than just an aspiration.”
“Victoria’s native forests have been poorly managed and over-logged, and the native forest logging industry has been declining for years and has an uncertain future. This announcement is a positive step in the right direction to solving this, but more work needs to be done. Change is inevitable and government leadership is required to better protect the forest for all Victorians.”