News - 12 March 2019
Have your say on the future of Victoria’s forests
The Victorian Government is inviting Victorians like you to answer a short survey to improve the management of our forests for the future. This is your chance to tell the government why you care about endangered native wildlife & tell them what you want done to protect our precious ecosystems. It’s critical that dodgy Regional Forestry Agreements—which allow logging to go on in our native forests—are replaced with something better.
Why does the government need to hear from me?
If you live in Victoria, you have a stake in this—and your voice can be a powerful catalyst for change. Victoria’s notoriously inadequate Regional Forestry Agreements (RFAs) give logging and wood-chipping a free pass from national environment laws. The impact on our forests has been disastrous. By answering this survey, you can help end the logging industry’s special treatment and protect Victoria’s clean drinking water, carbon-dense forests and threatened species habitat for the future.
But hurry—survey closes 31 March 2019.
How do I complete the survey?
We’ve compiled some tips and suggestions below. As with any submission, putting the points in your own words will have the biggest impact.
- Q: How can we protect and improve our forests for all Victorians?
Here, you could mention ending the special treatment provided to the logging industry under the RFAs. Explain why you believe logging has no place in our native forests. Ask for the creation of the Great Forest National Park¹ and the Emerald Link².
- Q: What benefits do you want future generations to gain or enjoy from Victoria's forests?
This is a personal question, but you might like to think about our unique wildlife—endemic species like the Leadbeater’s possum and Barred Galaxias fish are facing extinction because of logging in their forest homes. The carbon storage values of Victoria’s forests, and their importance in regulating the climate, is another important point—as is the fact that these forests provide us with clean drinking water³. You could also talk about an experience you’ve had in a forest which you would like future generations to be able to experience too.
- Write your vision inspired by an image below.
Whichever image you pick, it’s good to state that you value healthy, thriving forest ecosystems that benefit all Victorians.
- What should our forests be managed for? (Multiple choice)
There are lot of good options here, but the main thing is to rank ‘Providing jobs and economic benefits from timber and wood products’ in last place. Native forest logging in Victoria is unviable and unsustainable⁴, with State Government loggers, VicForests, routinely bailed out by taxpayers like you. It’s time to transition away from this failing industry. Our forests should be managed for the best use and value—which means managing for water and climate, as everyone needs clean drinking water and we all rely on a safe climate. Logging destroys water catchments and makes climate change worse.
- What are we currently doing well, regarding forest management in Victoria? (Multiple choice)
This is a tricky one. But because of this public survey, ‘Providing Victorian communities with an opportunity to have their say’ might be an option you consider, otherwise you could consider leaving this answer blank. You could also tick ‘Other’ and explain that you don’t think the government is currently doing anything well when it comes to forest management, because of things like the urgent need to end logging, the failure of the government to properly regulate logging, and the free pass the it gives the industry from national environment law.
- What concerns you most about the way we are currently managing our forests? (Multiple choice)
It’s a real shame there’s not an ‘Ongoing logging’ option here! ‘Insufficient protection of flora and fauna’ is our number one concern, closely followed by ‘Forest management not adaptive to climate change or major bushfires’. It’s tricky, because ‘Loss of jobs or income’ is also a concern, as logging has destroyed other forest-dependent businesses—however, because the survey does not specify which jobs or income they’re talking about here (and they probably mean logging jobs and income!), this option shouldn’t be ranked highly.
- What could be done to alleviate your concerns and improve the things you most value about our forests? (Multiple choice)
For us, it’s ‘Stronger focus on biodiversity conservation’ as the most urgent priority. Ticking ‘Improved protection of ecosystem services’ will convey that you value the fresh water and clean air our forests produce for us. ‘More or different opportunities for people to appreciate and connect with nature’ will show you want proposals like the Great Forest National Park and Emerald Link realised. There are lot of other great options here, but ‘More or different opportunities for jobs, income and economic benefits from timber and wood products’ is not one of them. Studies have shown the logging industry is already on the decline, and proposals like the Great Forest National Park would create hundreds of jobs and add millions to the local economy⁵.
- How do you see your role in future forest management?
We believe every Victorian should support the preservation and restoration of our precious forests. After all, we all rely on Victoria’s forests for clean air and fresh drinking water. Each person has a part to play in ensuring these shared natural assets remain healthy and thriving for future generations—for example, by telling their state government to do the right thing and protect our forests for the future, just like you did today!
Thank you for taking action!
Learn more about our campaign to protect Victoria’s forests.