Last issue’s front page story was of the needless logging of a 70 km swathe through the Snowy National Park during the January fires under the direction of a logging company boss seconded into the Department to help with fire fighting management. He was put in charge of this back burn line.
Findings from an internal investigation, due out in late March/early April now sits on the Minister’s desk. By the time you receive this Potoroo, it may have been publicly released, but if not, it could be heading for a spot under the carpet.
Bob Humphreys is a mill owner and woodchipper who has more front than Myers! His business partner, Garry Squires, was the person given the task of preparing the back burn line. Humprheys gleefully skited to the Department about the great logs they got from their National Parks. He also made media demands to access the logs, claiming they would only be burnt and wasted otherwise. Many of the magnificent trees cut down are still unaccounted for, appearing to have been processed and shipped off before detection.
Both the Victorian Association of Forest Industries, Michael O’Connor from the Forestry Division of the CFMEU and Peter Brunt, large contractor and Executive Officer of Victorian Harvesting and Cartage Council all joined in the condemnation of the Department for not allowing them to use Park logs. They also venerated the loggers who took part in this incident as fire-fighting heroes.
Three months later and Bonny Bob Humphreys is at it again, demanding to use these National Park trees that his mate organized to be felled.
Want to do something about it? Write a quick letter asking (you have to ask a question or two or they aren’t obliged to answer) what the outcome has been of the investigation, that it’s been a while since the incident and you’re hoping it doesn’t get quietly forgotten. That the Snowy is one of your favourite Parks and this is an outrage‹and so on.
Send it to Premier Steve Bracks, Parliament House, Spring St, Melbourne 3000. John Thwaites seems to be quarantined from such letters by his advisors and upper level bureaucrats, but you could try him as well John Thwaites, Environment Minister, DSE, PO Box 500, East Melbourne 3002