News - 07 November 2018
Ivanhoe: Push for the Park this state election
In 2014, Ivanhoe state member of Parliament, Anthony Carbines, stood with the Wilderness Society in a decimated area of iconic, Victorian bushland.
It was here that Anthony recognised there’s a problem: forests just one hour north of Melbourne are being destroyed by chainsaws and bulldozers, then set alight and burned to a crisp—all to produce cheap copy paper, like Reflex.¹
But despite four years in office, the Andrews Labor Government still hasn’t stopped the logging, protected these forests or created the Great Forest National Park²—a new nature playground right on Melbourne’s doorstep.
Logging is happening right now. In drought³ and with the impacts of climate change, it shouldn’t be. Water security is a looming issue.⁴ If created, the Great Forest National Park will secure Melbourne’s drinking water supply for decades to come.⁵
Protected forest on the doorstep of major cities has improved the quality of life of millions of Australians.⁶ Sydney has fantastic parks right on its doorstep—think Wollemi and the Blue Mountains. By comparison, Melbourne currently has only small fragmented places to visit.⁷
Australia desperately needs leadership on projects for the long-term.
In two weeks, there’s another state election in Victoria.
Anthony Carbines, Labor’s Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment, has been silent on forests, logging and the Great Forest National Park for four years. That’s four years too long. Meanwhile, Matthew Guy’s Liberals have ruled out protecting forests, and the Victorian Greens support the Great Forest National Park.⁸
Mr Carbines holds the seat of Ivanhoe for Labor by a margin of just over 3%. With such a small margin, this is an opportunity to pile the pressure on.
It’s time for Labor to deliver the project Victoria really needs: the Great Forest National Park.
Join us at one of our upcoming events in the electorate of Ivanhoe!
For more information, please contact Mallory Pryde at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 9038 0851.
¹In Victoria, logged forests are mostly pulped for paper products, with more than 90% of the Mountain Ash forests ending up that way (J. Schirmer, M. Mylek & J. Morison (2013) Socio-Economic characteristics of Victoria’s forestry industries, 2009-2012). For more information, please see: http://http://ethicalpaper.com.au/
²Willingham, Richard, and Stephanie Anderson. 2018, ABC, ‘Liberals 'cave in' and reject calls for new Great Forest National Park’, 1 October, 2018. Detail available at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-01/victorian-liberals-reject-great-forest-national-park-plan/10326152
³In October 2018, rainfall was below to very much below average for southeast South Australia, and most of Victoria away from the northwest. Rainfall was in the lowest 10% of historical rainfall totals for the month in western to central Tasmania, South and West Gippsland, and other isolated pockets in northern and eastern Australia, including areas scattered along the Victorian coastline. As a consequence, deficiencies have increased in Victoria and agricultural districts of South Australia. (issued 2 November 2018) at http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/drought/
⁴As reported by the Guardian and the ABC: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/01/melbournes-water-supply-at-risk-due-to-collapse-of-forests-caused-by-logging
⁵The forests of the Central Highlands, proposed for protection in the Great Forest National Park, form critical water catchments for Melburnians, as well as the La Trobe River and the Murray-Goulburn river systems. The Central Highlands forest area provides practically all the water for Melbourne - the capital of Victoria and, with 4.4 million people, the second biggest city in Australia. The Central highlands also provide water for irrigating crops, and supports tourism, as well as a small timber industry that uses both native forests and plantations. See in particular Maps 9 & 10 in the Great Forest National Park Summary Report, available at: https://www.greatforestnationalpark.com.au/park-plan.html
For more on how forests helps cities and rural communities manage water, please see: https://www.iucn.org/news/europe/201803/how-forests-help-cities-manage-water
⁶Forests provide life support systems that include environmental processes that enhance our quality of life. Ecosystem accounts for the Central Highlands forests show the value of ecosystem services that support quality of life is greater than that of wood production (detail available at: https://www.wavespartnership.org/en/realising-value-accounting-forests-victorian-central-highlands-australia
For an overview of the value and benefit of ecosystem services within Victoria’s current parks estate, please see: https://parkweb.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/695764/Valuing-Victorias-Parks-Report-Accounting-for-ecosystems-and-valuing-their-benefits.pdf The current state government recognises that: “Healthy nature sustains our life, livelihoods and liveability. Conserving parks for present and future generations provides inspirational and therapeutic settings that foster lifelong connections with nature and each other.” from A Guide To Healthy Parks Healthy People, Parks Victoria, March 2017, available at https://parkweb.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/693566/Guide-to-Healthy-Parks-Healthy-People.pdf).
⁷Currently Sydney has 1,094,207 hectares of parks surrounding it, while Melbourne has only 168,891 hectares. Even with the creation of the Great Forest National Park, Melbourne will still have half of the parks estate on its doorstep that Sydney does. See map showing Sydney / Melbourne parks comparision at: https://www.greatforestnationalpark.com.au/park-economy.html
⁸Carey, Adam, and Benjamin Preiss. 2017, The Age, ‘Pressure on Andrews as Northcote voters back push for Great Forest National Park’, 25 October, 2017, available at https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/pressure-on-andrews-as-northcote-voters-back-push-for-great-forest-national-park-20171025-gz81tq.html
Authorised by Amelia Young, The Wilderness Society (Victoria) Inc., West Melbourne.