Logging in Blue Vein Coup

Has the Minister requested that VicForests assess the damage to tourism and Leadbeater’s possum habitat by logging Blue Vein coupe, which is adjacent to the 350 year old, 76 metre high, 15.7 metre girth Ada tree, which, as one of the largest living things in the world, is a major tourist attraction in the Yarra Ranges and Baw Baw?
Thursday, February 9, 2017 - 5:00pm
Speaker:
Samantha Dunn

Ms DUNN (Eastern Metropolitan) — My question is for the Minister for Agriculture. Has the minister requested that VicForests undertake an extensive survey of Leadbeater’s possum habitat even though logging has commenced at the Blue Vein coupe, given the proximity of Leadbeater’s possum sightings in the area, which is adjacent to the 350-year-old, 76-metre-high, 15.7-metre-girth Ada Tree, which is one of the largest living things in the world, is visited by thousands of people and is a major tourist attraction in Yarra Ranges and Baw Baw?

Ms PULFORD (Minister for Agriculture) — I thank Ms Dunn for her question and her interest in the activity in a specific coupe. Ms Dunn does like to get to
a tree-by-tree level of detail on these questions, so I will provide Ms Dunn with a written response to this very specific question about the very specific piece of land that she is asking about.

Supplementary question

Ms DUNN (Eastern Metropolitan) — My supplementary question is: will the logs from the Blue Vein coupe be graded appropriately, or will VicForests’s contractors continue the fraudulent practice of purposely misgrading sawlogs as pulp and selling them to foreign-owned Australian Paper?

Ms PULFORD (Minister for Agriculture) — Oh, my goodness me. Where to begin? It is a variation on a theme that we have discussed in every question time this week. Ms Dunn likes to use question time to express her opinions about VicForests. I will respond by saying that I have certainly always found VicForests to be very professional in their dealings and very conscientious in their management of contracts and contractors, and I see no reason for that to change. Ms Dunn often comes in here making claims that lack substantiation, and I have no reason to believe that this is any different.

As for her slur on Australian Paper and their Japanese ownership, I just simply say that the government is not in the business of disparaging international companies that wish to invest in Victoria and create jobs in Victoria, so I will not be buying into that either.