For at least the third time, the Government today announced the new additions to the reserve system in East Gippsland. The ALP’s 2006 election promise was to protect ‘the last significant stands of old growth planned for logging’.
But environment groups say that most of what has been protected was either in existing protection zones, had already been logged or was degraded forest unwanted for logs or woodchips anyway.
“We’re pleased some areas of old growth have been put into National Park, but they account for only about one quarter to a third of what the state government is claiming has been saved from logging”, said Jill Redwood from Environment East Gippsland.
“The government is to be praised on its clever recycling of protected zones back into protected zones, and logged forest into National Park. It’s mostly been a creative game of swaps.”
“However the protection of Yalmy’s forests and Goolengook’s magnificent old growth and rainforest is very welcome, despite Goolengook’s heart having been logged out.”
“The areas have taken four years to be finalised, while DSE accommodated the logging industry’s demands over this election promise. Meanwhile thousands of hectares of old growth and mature forests were clearfelled in the interim. Like an extinct species, they will never return.”
“This includes forests at Brown Mountain, which had recognised old growth values and supported endangered wildlife. If the government didn’t consider Brown Mountain ‘significant old growth’ it shows how many other equally magnificent forests have been condemned to clearfelling.”
“The new parks announcement today is at least a start.”
For comment: Jill Redwood 5154 0145