MEDIA RELEASE 23 May 2023 |
The Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA) has welcomed the announcement of the State Government’s decision to bring forward the end of native forest logging to January 2024.The end date will be accelerated from 2030 to the start of next year through additional $200 million of measures announced in Tuesday’s State Budget. “After decades of campaigning to protect Victoria’s native forests from state-funded native forest logging, we’re elated to hear the Victorian Government show leadership on this issue,” VNPA Executive Director Matt Ruchel said. “This is a great step forward for all the groups and community folk who spent so long working to protect these incredible habitats, wildlife and special places.” “The news that the end of native forest logging in our state is to be brought forward is critical for the current and future health of our natural world, and the security of workers and community. “We’re keen to see the detail and better understand how these forests will be managed and protected into the future, and welcome the commitment for a full assessment of forest suitable for new national parks. “We also hope this will clear the way for the previously promised national parks in the central west to be established as soon as possible”. VicForests has been under pressure over the logging of native forests following the devastating black summer bushfires in 2019-20, and after being found via community court cases to have broken the laws in three cases, over failing to protect endangered wildlife like the iconic Greater Glider. VicForests made a loss of $54.2 million in 2022 despite receiving government handouts. Let’s hope winding up VicForests is part of the solution. VNPA support assistance in supporting forestry workers and the ongoing health of our remaining native forests, but are keen to see the detail of what is planned for forest management works announced in the government package, which will allow workers to continue to work in the forests and contribute to bushfire risk reduction.
photo credit: Sandy Scheltema