Greens Senator and forests spokesperson Lee Rhiannon says the Baillieu government’s new timber industry plan, designed to prop up the industry and extend logging of native forests provides, puts further pressure on the Minister for the Environment Tony Burke to step in to protect Victoria’s native forests (“Timber gets long-term commitment”, The Age today).
“This bankrupt plan, which entrenches the pillaging of precious native forests and loss of habitat for native wildlife, should be the impetus for Minister Burke to intervene,” Senator Rhiannon said.
“There is no ‘vibrant’ future in logging and woodchipping native forests. The federal government should be working hand in hand with the Victorian government to transition out of the industry to one that safeguards these carbon store houses.
“It’s time the federal government pulled the pin on the RFA process and showed leadership.
“A structured transition, with government assistance, can realise processing opportunities with hardwood plantations and create jobs in local communities.
“Instead this new timber industry plan locks in contracts and exposes the Victorian public to a hefty compensation bill when the inevitable happens and native forest logging ends,” Senator Rhiannon said.
For comment: 0487 350 880.
Senator Rhiannon is also available to comment later today on action by Environment East Gippsland to obtain an urgent injunction in the Melbourne Supreme Court to stop logging a national rainforest site of significance.