A rally was held today on the steps of Parliament House in Melbourne " to protest against new laws proposed by the Napthine government which are undeniably bad news for forests.
A rally was held today (7 May 2013) on the steps of Parliament House in Melbourne.
According to Jill Redwood of Environment East Gippsland, ‘Infinity logging’ is the new law proposed by the Napthine Government. If passed the Bill will formalise a new ‘cut-out-and-get-out’ style of forest management in the short term as well as pay millions to the logging industry in the long term.
The proposed Amendments to this law governing native forest logging will hand full powers to VicForests (the profit-driven semi government entity in charge of logging public forests) and it will expose the state of Victoria to payouts to the industry players of hundreds of millions. This change to the law mirrors closely what the logging lobby group, AFPA’s submission demanded.
"The changes would:
1. Promise unlimited logging contracts (currently licenses have 5 year reviews).
2. Remove government oversight of VicForests’ activities.
3. Effectively privatise the exploitation of the state’s most valuable public natural asset.
4. Promise to supply logs into the future that may not exist, due to fire, drought regeneration failure and so on.
5. Expose the tax-payer and government to paying hundreds of millions in compensation when/if the trees can’t be provided .
6. See forests managed by purely commercial interests with token to no concern for environmental, tourism, heritage, aesthetic or water values.
7. Make it impossible to alter the law if the wood/trees have been promised to a private company by VicForests. The government must provide the logs or pay massive compensation.
8. Allow VicForests Board of Directors to decide when, where and how much it will clearfell .
9. Override and ignore the Auditor General’s current audit of VicForests’ management and the recommendations that will come from it.
10. Remove environmental oversight of logging in native forests.
VicForests has been found to be consistently over-logging, logging unlawfully, unaccountably and in the face of enormous and escalating community opposition. They are last entity that should be trusted to manage logging our public forests!
This proposed change of the law hopes to encourage even more destructive industries to use forests as a feedstock for biomass burning for electricity and processing into fuel. (Timber Industry Action Plan. Dec 2011). Hence this ‘overkill Bill’ to entice prospective investors and industries that want wood as a raw material."
I saw about 40 people for this rally on the steps of Parliament at about 1.30 p.m. and one human sized owl. A later rally was going to take place around 3.00pm and the parliament was to debate the law this afternoon. Go to the website of Environment East Gippsland http://www.eastgippsland.net.au/ to see what you can do