MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (16:30:58): I rise today to acknowledge with great sadness the recent passing of Doug Phillips of Portland and offer my condolences to Doug’s wife Helen and children, Lachlan and Brianna.
Doug devoted untold hours, over decades, to environmental activism, protecting forests, waterways and natural areas of south-west Victoria.
As campaign officer with the Portland Field Naturalists Club, Doug helped to ensure biodiversity protection within the western regional forest agreement, and played a pivotal role in establishing the Cobboboonee National Park and its adjoining forest park.
Doug spent much of his time ensuring that significant natural values of south-west forests were known and recognised, involving many day and night hours surveying native birds and animals, including owls and bats and other nocturnal fauna. He also established effective alliances with broader-based environmental groups such as Environment Victoria, the Wilderness Society, Friends of the Earth, and the Gunditj Mirring traditional owners.
Doug’s extensive lobbying for south-west forests brought him to the attention of then Premier Bracks and environment minister Thwaites, and it was a highlight of his endeavours that the Premier and minister chose the Surrey River picnic ground in 2006 to announce their environment policy, including the establishment of the Cobboboonee National Park.
Doug served as director of the Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority and 18 years as a field officer with Greening Australia. During that time Doug was personally responsible for planting 4 million indigenous trees, shrubs and grasses in his beloved south-west landscape.
Doug received the Pride of Australia Medal in 2008 for his outstanding contribution to the environment.
Although Doug’s life has ended, his legacy of an improved, better-protected forest conservation network in south-west Victoria will be appreciated forever.
Vale, Doug Phillips.