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