Greens MP and forests spokesperson Lee Rhiannon is calling on the Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke to intervene to pressure the Victorian government to drop proposals enabling loggers to seek exemptions from Victorian laws protecting endangered and threatened species ("New state law in the pipeline to aid loggers", p 5 The Age today).
"This backward move by the Victorian government will expose threatened and endangered species to the chainsaw. It demands a response from Minister Burke who is charged with protecting native flora and fauna," Senator Rhiannon said.
"What we see in Victoria is further erosion of the gossamer protections that exist for native forests and endangered species. Mr Burke should not sit idly by while the downgrading occurs.
"Ending native forest logging across Australia is necessary to tackle climate change, preserve our wild places and protect biodiversity.
"It's time the Gillard government scrapped Regional Forest Agreements and developed a new deal to protect native forests in Victoria and across the country.
"A move from industrial logging in native forests to plantation resources is long overdue," Senator Rhiannon said.
Proposed amendments to Victorian 'Code of Practice for Timber Production' here.