Statement welcoming Final Report into VicForests


Ms DUNN (Eastern Metropolitan) — I am glad there is a lot of love in the room for the Leadbeater's possum — my work here is clearly starting to take shape. However, I am not going to sit down yet — I am only 10 seconds in. Firstly, before I talk to the substance of the inquiry, I would like to thank the secretariat for their support. There is no doubt that this inquiry had members with very different views in relation to approaching this subject. The work they have done in getting this report together has been exceptional, and I give them my deep thanks for what they do — and they do that tirelessly time and time again for inquiry after inquiry.

Certainly I have provided a minority report in relation to this particular inquiry. It is not that I necessarily disagree with the recommendations, but of course they are based on a premise that there is an ongoing future for native forest logging in the long-term future of the state. The reality is that overcutting and bushfires have decimated our forests in this state, which means there can be no long-term future in native forest logging — unless we start to open up new tracts of forest, and it will be a dark day for this state if we continue to do that, because we will see not only species like the Leadbeater's possum, which has become a beacon for these forests, but we will see those 79 species dependent on forests for survival also run on a trajectory to extinction. I do not think any of us want that.

I would just like to comment that we have heard about 21 000 jobs a lot — 1101 of those jobs are in the native forest sector. There are certainly breakdowns of what those other jobs are, but it is worth putting that on the record: 1101 jobs in the native forest sector.

Motion agreed to.