The East Gippsland RFA had its eighth anniversary on the 3rd February. We were told all that time ago that it was to protect the forests, but conservation promises have never been honoured while woodchipping volumes have more than doubled. The five yearly review has not happened.
It is now totally obsolete and should be publicly scrapped by the Bracks Government. While the RFA is in place it allows the appalling management of forests to continue unchallenged – as the presence of an RFA is all that’s needed for unscrupulous entities (like the Federal Government and cheap timber certifying groups) to claim a green tag of approval and be exempt from scrutiny.
Federal Act excludes protecting RFA’d forests
The Federal Government’s Environment and Biodiversity Protection Act (the EPBC Act) was passed umpteen years ago. It is totally useless for protection of Federally listed endangered species that are under threat from logging. It has a specific “exception” from such activities as logging. “An action does not require approval from the Environment Minister under the Act if – the action is a forestry operation taken in a Regional Forest Agreement region“
(see Part 4, Division 2 of the Act).