NEWS 12 April 2022 |
Under the guise of ‘salvage logging’ rules, VicForests have expanded their logging operations by hundreds of hectares in the proposed Wombat-Lerderderg National Park.
This is more over-the-top cowboy behaviour by the state-owned logging agency. As Wombat ForestCare‘s Gayle Osborne put it, “I thought we might have some issues with the proposed VicForest salvage, but never envisaged something as blatant and devastating as this”.
As both the local MP and Minister for Regional Development, Mary-Anne Thomas is partly responsible for logging in our state. Let’s call out this gross abuse of our national park-designated forests.
VicForests recently released a so-called Forest Recovery Timber Utilisation Plan. The plan purports to deal with trees damaged by storms last year, but goes much further in practice.
If they’re really removing trees for fire safety, they would’ve used fire management laws. Instead they’ve used logging laws to exploit what will be a national park for wood pulp and firewood.
Parts of the forest were hit hard by storms, but these areas should be cleaned up with a highly-targeted operation – not this classic VicForests snatch and grab.
We’ve put together talking points so you can call on local member and Minister for Regional Development, Mary-Anne Thomas, to voice your disapproval. Never called an MP before? Don’t worry, we’ve included tips for making the call.
We’ve mapped the new logging coupes VicForest have added. That mess of green shows the scale of forests freshly opened up to logging.
Wombat Forest is a prominent hotspot for threatened wildlife, such as the Greater Glider, Powerful Owl, and Brush-tailed Phascogale, along with many others. It’s one of the reasons it was promised national park status.
To be blunt, this is not a clean up operation, this is smash up operation.
Call Minister Thomas to remind her that adding dozens of extra coupes to this important forest habitat is not right. It’s also a clear breach of the firm commitments made by the Andrews Government just last year.