The government has three zones outside of National Parks in East Gippsland – Special PROTECTION Zones (SPZs) where identified conservation values are not to be logged, Special MANAGEMENT Zones(SMZs) where important forests can be logged in a special sort of way (clearfelled specially) and then General Management Zone (GMZs) where logging occurs. These zones are not legislated and can be shunted about the map at any time, s’long as there’s a bit of public consultation. That the process whereby they ask us to waste time commenting, then they go and do what they wanted to anyway. Public comments just help legitimise their shonky process.
The DSE’s sudden hurry to move things about after 20 years of these zones being in place is a little suspect. Their preliminary summary seems to suggest it’s to give more good loggable forest to the industry, which is desperate to get hold of high value forests. Their proposed changes would put a lot of existing conservation values, like Mountain Plum Pine mixed rainforest into logging zones and large areas of regrowth forest (up to 80-100% logged in some cases) into new conservation SPZs! Will this be the start of a new management regime whereby they recyle logged forest around the map as protected areas every 20 years, as the industry needs it?
A joint submission was presented to govt from regional groups EEG and GEG, as well as TWS, VNPA and ACF. EEG also sent in another submission containing more detail.
To read the joint submission (PDF) click here.
To read the EEG submission (PDF) click here.