Today’s transition away from native forest logging in Victoria is an essential step, but ten years is far too slow.
For decades, successive Liberal and Labor Governments have decimated our forests to make cheap copy paper, and today’s announcement is well overdue recognition that this cannot continue.
The Government’s announcement reflects decades of campaigning by thousands of Victorians. Without those on the front line of forest blockades, scientists, campaigners and the Greens, today’s announcement would not have happened.
The announcement of new protected areas for the critically endangered Greater Glider is a necessary step. Yet it appears our faunal emblem the Leadbeater’s possum, will not be so lucky, with its habitat in Victoria’s central highlands on the chopping block for another decade.
With only 1,500 possums remaining, Labor’s plan could see these possums wiped out for good.
If the Victorian Labor Government was serious about securing Melbourne’s water supply and the future of more than 70 threatened species, it would make the transition to plantations now, not in ten years.
We know this is possible, with plantation logs currently being exported for woodchips that could be used right here in Victoria.
The time for urgent action to tackle the climate and ecological crisis is now, not in ten years.
Quotes attributable to Ellen Sandell, Victorian Greens Spokesperson for Forests:
“Finally, Labor has acknowledged they cannot continue to destroy our forests forever. This is a testament to all the forest campaigners, scientists and Greens who have fought so hard for our forests. But the time for urgent action to tackle the climate and ecological crisis is now, not in ten years.
“Under Labor’s plan, the Leadbeater’s possum habitat and our water catchments will stay open for logging for ten years – which could wipe them out for good.
“C’mon Dan – we can transition out of destructive logging much faster than ten years.”
Quotes attributable to Victorian Senator Janet Rice, Australian Greens Spokesperson for Forests:
“Our current logging laws, which are state and federal agreements, are continuing to allow major destruction to occur for short-term profits.
“Daniel Andrews appears to be offering the logging industry a free pass to keep logging critically endangered Leadbeater’s possum habitat before he calls it quits.
“The Greens call on the federal Environment Minister to step in, scrap the Victorian Regional Forest Agreements, finalise the years-overdue Leadbeater’s Possum Recovery Plan, and apply federal environment laws to all logging actions.”
“Victoria’s native forests are nationally iconic and must be protected for all the values they bring - habitat for animals, carbon stores, water supply, and healthy regional communities.”