VicForests has again been given aid of almost $1.3 million to clean up degraded clearfelled public forests that should have been rehabilitated and paid for by VicForests years ago.
“What other business has made a loss every year yet is rewarded by millions of dollars of tax payers money to keep going?” asked Jill Redwood of Environment East Gippsland.
“VicForests has claimed for years that they are regenerating all of the clearfelled forests they are responsible for. Now we see the government recognise that this is not so. It’s basically a $1.3 million lie.
“The regeneration backlog is out of control – over 7,000 ha in East Gippsland alone. If logging isn’t profitable enough to be able to clean up the mess it leaves, it the logging should stop.
“Recently VicForests was caught out exporting whole logs, before that it was planned destruction of endangered wildlife habitat and currently the Ombudsman is investigating VicForests’ due processes.
“The genuine sawn timber industry, as opposed to the woodchip industry, has been struggling to compete with pine timber products for years. Almost 90% of sawn timber and wood panels are now derived from pine. This is causing loss of jobs in the native forest industry”, said Jill Redwood. “It’s a bit rich for the Baillieu government to blame conservationists for this”.