The Bracks government has released new statewide logging prescriptions (though now they’re called “procedures”), combining all regional prescriptions into the one document.
The procedures seem to have few changes, at least as far as rainforest is concerned.
The Mixed Forest definition (rainforest and eucalypt) is now included but is complex and will be hard to apply in the field. These forests should now be protected where stands meet the size limits of 0.4ha. Past logging of these forests have been put down to the inability of foresters to identify them, so we’re not sure what will change.
Predictably, the government is still clinging on to its 20m minimum buffers for linear rainforest (along streams and gullies), in breach of section 2.3.7(i) of the Code of Forest Practice which states buffers must be a minimum of 40m.
Despite this having been pointed out to them, DSE foresters refuse to give ground. Interestingly, 60m minimum buffers apply in the Otways, yet the Central highlands Myrtle Beech dominated rainforests receive the sub-standard 40m, again in breach of the Code of Forest Practice; so much for state-wide “standardisation”.
No public review/consultation period existed for these new procedures. These are a farce at the best of times but all major planning and management instruments such as this one should invite public comment.
Victorian Rainforest Network / Jill