Manage forests for all values

The Greens believe the topic of forest protection is a critical matter of concern for many voters in the Gippsland region as it is so closely linked to our clean secure water supplies, carbon storage, climate stabilisation and protection of rare and threatened wildlife.

“The Labor and Coalition parties are turning a blind eye to the devastation that is being wrought in the Strzeleckis and Central Highlands”, says Michael Bond, Greens Candidate for Gippsland.

“My great Uncle, John Youl, worked for the Forest Commission in the 1920s and through the Great Depression with postings throughout Gippsland including Yarram and Heyfield. He won an OBE for ‘services to the timber industry’ in 1970 and loved the forests. In those days small scale local timber-getting operators cut chosen trees only for sawlogs. Today the intensive clearfell operations of VicForests and HVP are driven by giant woodchipping interests and much of this is to supply overseas companies”, said Michael Bond “I think Uncle John would be horrified to learn what’s now happening to his beloved forests.”

“We should be developing long term secure employment such as nature tourism and looking after existing industries like honey production. These industries are being undermined as the native forest logging industry continues to devastate areas of public forest.”

“The last of our unprotected intact forests on public land in the Strzeleckis that were promised to be protected are now being chainsawed and bulldozed. The old growth forests of East Gippsland, with trees; some over 600 years old, are still on the government’s plans to be clearfelled and converted to industrial tree farms for the export woodchip industry.

"It’s just outrageous. These are carbon dense forests and should be our front-line defence against climate change and bushfires.” Michael declares.

“With climate change giving us drier and hotter summers, it is absolutely critical that our governments protect the last untouched parts of our healthy forests. These have been shown by scientists from the Australian National University (ANU) to be more fire resistant than regrowth and damaged forests.” Michael concluded.

For more details, contact Michael Bond 0413 315 084


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