PARK WATCH Article November 2022 |
We have continued to investigate how the scheme was established using Freedom of Information Requests and letters to decision-makers. We’ve been particularly concerned about the government’s failure to implement the recommendation they agreed to in response to the final VEAC report.
A commitment to actioning recommendations straight away (rather than waiting for legislation to create new national parks and reserves) is a long-standing practice of Victorian governments. This practice is given legislative force in sections 25 and 26A of the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council Act 2001. These reflect a requirement to action recommendations, and date back to the original Land Conservation Act 1970.
It’s clear that VicForests is a law unto itself, particularly in the west of the state. Both the environment and agricultural ministers have delegated most of their oversight powers for control of logging schedules directly to VicForests. It is clear that this delegation made under the previous Coalition Government in November 2014 during caretaker mode (a few weeks before they lost office), has not be changed or reviewed in two terms of the Andrews Government.
If we want real leadership to protect and restore our unique natural places, all political parties should have comprehensive nature protection and conservation policies.Will you help support our campaign to persuade our elected representatives to fulfill their pledge to legislate the promised national parks? Visit vnpa.org.au/new-parks
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