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"Cynical" - proposed logging of Brown Mountain and impact on jobs


(This article was originally published at http://www.anarchistmedia.org/current.html)

Only 8% of Victoria’s old growth forests remain

Considering just 8% of Victoria’s old growth forests remain, you would think the Victorian State government would continue its seven month moratorium on logging at Brown mountain in far east Gippsland. You really have to wonder who the Environment Minister Gavin Jennings is kidding when he states “the old growth forest surrounding Brown Mountain is not top grade old growth forest and did not warrant protecting”.

It is hard to know who to believe about the real worth of the old growth forest surrounding Brown Mountain when a VicForests spokesperson says the area to be logged is “exceptional forest” and “seventy five percent will become high-grade saw logs”. If it is exceptional old growth forest, you would think the state government would be falling over itself to protect it.

Trying to appease some very angry environmentalists, the Victorian Environmental Minister has set aside 400 hectares of old growth forest around Brown Mountain to offset what will be logged. The only problem is century old trees will be logged while much of the 400 hectares set aside was logged in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Just in case you think hundreds of privately employed timber workers are going to lose their jobs; the logging will be carried out by the state’s timber arm VicForests.

Our taxes at work against us and the environment

Yep folks that’s right, no private contractors jobs are at stake and the employees who work for VicForests who will be doing the logging could be re-deployed into other jobs in the state’s commercial arm VicForests. It seems the decision to log the old growth forests at Brown Mountain has more to do with the state government protecting its tough pro-logging image than it has to do with the state making any money out of logging the old growth forests at Brown Mountain. If the Victorian Environment Minister didn’t believe the ALP wasn’t going to garner a few extra votes, the moratorium on logging at Brown Mountain would still be in place." [See inside; this statement has been contested.]

This article was originally published at http://www.anarchistmedia.org/current.html

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Comments

I have been contacted by Environment East Gippsland (EEG) to let me know of some errors in the above article. Rather than remove it entirely, I am publishing the comments from EEG below. Apparently these logging jobs are not public servants' jobs; they are done by private logging contractors which VicForests pays to log the forests.

"CYNICAL

Considering just 8% of Victoria’s old growth forests remain, you would think the Victorian State government would continue its seven month moratorium on logging at Brown mountain in far east Gippsland. You really have to wonder who the Environment Minister Gavin Jennings is kidding when he states “the old growth forest surrounding Brown Mountain is not top grade old growth forest and did not warrant protecting”.

EEG Comment: This is the area where radio carbon dating showed a medium sized tree-stump freshly cut down was 600 years old. How old does he want forests to be before he deems them 'significant'?

It is hard to know who to believe about the real worth of the old growth forest surrounding Brown Mountain when a VicForests spokesperson says the area to be logged is “exceptional forest” and “seventy five percent will become high-grade saw logs”.

If you take the entire biomass of a forest including the trees and understory without commercial value, they actually turn 2-3% of a forest into timber.

If it is exceptional old growth forest, you would think the state government would be falling over itself to protect it.

Trying to appease some very angry environmentalists, the Victorian Environmental Minister has set aside 400 hectares of old growth forest around Brown Mountain to offset what will be logged. The only problem is
century old trees will be logged while much of the 400 hectares set aside was logged in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

It was old growth that was already protected because we found a potoroo there 7 years ago. He announced the protection of already protected forest.

Just in case you think hundreds of privately employed timber workers are going to lose their jobs; the logging will be carried out by the state’s timber arm VicForests.

Actually, VicForests oversees the logging which private logging contractors do.

Yep folks that’s right, no private contractors jobs are at stake and the employees who work for VicForests who will be doing the logging could be re-deployed into other jobs in the state’s commercial arm VicForests.

If that were true, even so, VicForests does little else but cut down forests. That is their principle purpose, it seems.

It seems the decision to log the old growth forests at Brown Mountain has more to do with the state government protecting its tough pro-logging image than it has to do with the state making any money out of logging
the old growth forests at Brown Mountain.

We think it is all about land clearing to lock up public land into converted tree farms that are intensively managed for wood pulp. It is not about regeneration. It's conversion. The wood that they get from it is secondary. In our view it is the land it sits on that they are after. The Errinudra Plateau is perfect for their needs: flat topography, high rainfall, good soil - and all paid for by the mugsy taxpayer.

Under Premier Brumby, Victoria is heading towards a dry and arid state, and over -populated by concrete infrastructures and people. His advice to chop down trees and clear the "rubbish" undergrowth is vandalism of our ecology. He won't be happy until all of Victoria is cleared and concreted!
He is determined to chop down our old-growth forests and clear "dangerous" leafy areas. Only 8% of old-growth areas remain! Trees produce oxygen, provide homes for wildlife and biodiversity, and shade to cool the ground.
With urban sprawl and denuding of vegetation, our ecology is under serious threat, and climate change will continue to devastate our lives.
People in outer areas want to escape the rat-race, and now they are in the fire-line of our over-heated summers. We need to learn to live within our environment, not destroy it! Mr Brumby is guilty of environmental ignorance and vandalism. Victoria, the jewel State that had it all, is becoming a tinder-box and is being destroyed.

I do not know what part of Australia you have been looking at, but in the last 50 years, many parts of Victoria, have been abandoned to the bush. In many areas there were people, in a controlled environment, very much like the original "Aboriginal" settlers, attempting to make a basic life, to survive.

In my life time many areas around Port Phillip Bay and the Western District have more trees and bush than there have been before even before European settlement.

"Aborigines" controlled their environment to a greater extent than is commonly understood. "Aborigines" were people with brains and logic similar to ours. They did have the capacity to think, and, engineer their environment to ensure their own survival. The common belief in Australia, that "Aborigines" are merely an animal 2 IQ points above the Kangaroo, is just racist s%!#.

Melbourne came close to barbecuing 300,000 people plus loosing much infrastructure. If you want to see what a fire in a city looks like, see the fire bombing of Tokyo, 1940's films.

How do you find enough punishment for the murder of 300,000 Australians?

The following letter was printed in the Age on 7-9-09; reprinted here due to its great importance.

Illogical reaction

ON ASH Wednesday, I tried to evacuate with my three toddlers. This was a mistake. We became trapped and sat out the conflagration in a park in Upper Beaconsfield. It felt like a war zone. In the meantime, my husband and a neighbour fought for their lives in a foot of water in Cardinia Creek. They were lucky to survive. Nevertheless, we have since planted 50,000 trees.

John Brumby's decision to encourage extensive vegetation removal in the green wedges shows he has little understanding of the complexities of bushfire behaviour. This autocratic kneejerk reaction to Black Saturday is illogical and counterproductive.

Rosalie Counsell, Harkaway