ALP suffers ongoing forest paralysis

The 11/11; Armistice Day, the day Gough Whitlam was sacked and the day they hung Ned Kelly. In 2010 it was also the day the ALP released its forest policy before the election.

It’s business as usual dressed in drag.

Forest Photo J Deland

It includes:
A round table meeting process, that won’t meet until after the election. We’d much prefer to hear a firm date about when the transition out of forests and into plantations will occur. A firm industry plan with exit packages is what’s needed.

VicForests is now so on the nose it will be flushed away and another VicForests look-alike commercial logging monopoly will take its place – with even greater powers! It will now be in charge of valuing not only tree trunks, but water, carbon and ‘other values’ – which could be code for wildlife.

Who will give carbon and wildlife a value over the mythical ‘thousands of jobs’? Will the next logging monopoly be called RIPForests?

‘Transparency’ has been promised and was the worn-out feel-good word that heavily adorned VicForests when it was born 6 years ago. It’s been anything BUT. Obstructive bureaucrats, ‘Commercial in confidence’ and FOI exemptions see to that.

We don’t need another committee, or another government entity that is constantly in conflict with itself – profit vs environment. What we urgently need is a different culture within the government and its forester dominated environment department. It took four years to see the Labor government’s 2006 promises acted upon and even that was 70% spin.

The government did commit to carrying out threatened species surveys (in East Gippsland only) before they plan to clearfell. But this was forced on them by the Supreme Court (thanks to us – yay!).

If Labor wants to show it’s not still a lapdog to the logging mafia, it should immediately stop all old growth logging and protect high conservation value forests and town water catchments.

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