To the Legislative Council of Victoria:
The petition of certain citizens of the state of Victoria draws to the attention of the Legislative Council the proposed logging of native forests of far south-west Victoria by the government’s logging agency, VicForests. Western Victoria is over 85 per cent cleared of original vegetation and the remaining far south-west forests and woodlands are extremely important for biodiversity. Surrounded by cleared agricultural and plantation lands, these forests are survival places for plants and animals isolated from forests in the east. Western animals and plants could well be critical stores of species’ genetic diversity. Jobs are currently available, and needed, in the local plantation industry and in the world’s largest woodchip facility in port of Portland. There is no need to revive native forest logging, an industry that ended by 2002 because it was commercially unviable, the slow-growing forests were already overlogged, and a series of regional community meetings concluded that ‘biodiversity is the highest priority’. Post-logging recovery has barely begun.
The petitioners therefore request that the Legislative Council of Victoria oppose and reverse the reintroduction of logging in far south-west Victoria, remove the planned logging coupes, cease logging in other areas of western Victoria, remove VicForests management in the west, and work instead to place the remaining native forests and woodlands in secure parks and conservation reserves.
By Ms TIERNEY (Western Victoria) (264 signatures).
Laid on table.