The Victorian Greens have welcomed news that the state government will create three new national parks, but say they’re disappointed some of those parks will be heavily logged prior to protection.
Earlier today the government announced it would create three new national parks, along with additional conservation parks and nature reserves, helping to provide permanent protection for hundreds of rare and threatened species in Victoria.
After last year’s bushfires swept across our state and eradicated the habitats of countless species, the government should be doing everything it can to restore our biodiversity and these parks are an important step towards that.
But the fine print in this decision has revealed the government will allow these parks to be logged until 2030.
This decision goes against recommendations made by independent experts and will undermine any attempt to protect threatened species through the creation of these parks.
Deputy Leader of the Victorian Greens, Ellen Sandell, said logging our forests doesn’t just destroy precious species, it also costs the state money.
An independent costing obtained by the Greens last year found that ending native forest logging now instead of in 2030 would save the state $191.9 million dollars over the next ten years.
This would include providing the $120 million industry transition package now, instead of in a few years’ time, to make sure loggers and the industry are supported as they move into other jobs.
Ms Sandell added that without adequate resourcing, Parks Victoria wouldn’t be able to properly look after these parks and protect their ecosystems and animal habitats from destruction. So far the government hasn’t allocated new funding to manage these parks.
Parks Victoria already manages 18 per cent of Victoria’s land, and the recent Parliamentary Inquiry into Ecosystem Decline has heard evidence that some PV staff don’t even have access to vehicles or other resources needed to manage the land under their care. More funding is needed urgently in the next Budget to manage these new parks.
Quotes attributable to Deputy Leader of the Victorian Greens, Ellen Sandell MP:
“We welcome the creation of three new national parks, but we’re really sad to see some of them will be heavily logged by the Labor Government over the next ten years before they are protected.
“If last year’s bushfires told us anything, it’s that governments need to do much more to protect our beautiful habitat and threatened species.”