News - 14 November 2018
Where the parties stand on forests*
Labor established a Taskforce in 2015 to provide recommendations to government about the economic issues facing the logging industry, and the creation of new national parks.¹
Despite clear agreements being reached by the stakeholders about these issues,² the government has not acted and logging has continued throughout the four years of government.
Labor spent $60 million of tax-payers' money buying an unsustainable and economically unviable saw mill in the LaTrobe valley.³
Labor has not ruled out creating new national parks but so far it has not acted.
The Greens support an end to native forest logging and the creation of the Great Forest National Park and East Gippsland’s Emerald Link.⁴
In 2018 the party launched a plan to transition the wood and fibre industry while introducing a Bill to repeal the Wood Pulp Agreement Act.⁵ The Act locks in legislated supply of forests to the Maryvale Pulp mill where Reflex paper is made.
The Greens Parks Plan calls for funding increases to Parks Victoria of $50 million a year.⁶
The Liberals have ruled out the creation of new national parks to protect forests from logging.⁷
Currently the Liberal party has no environment policy, however it says it will announce a policy statement before the election.⁸
The Coalition proposes to scale up logging in habitat for the Critically Endangered Leadbeater’s Possum by halving the size of the current logging buffers (which will result in a 75% reduction in the size of the circular buffers).⁹
The proposal is part of a broader plan to weaken environment protection rules and allow more logging of critical habitat.
¹Premier’s Media Centre, Forest Industry Taskforce Terms of Reference Released, 20 November 2015, https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/forest-industry-taskforce-terms-of-reference-released/
²Forest Industry Taskforce Statement of Intent- https://voteforests.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Statement-of-Intent-160728.pdf
³Sullivan, Kath, Heyfield Timber Mill: Tax Payers slugged $60 million, December 20th 2017 https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/politics/heyfield-timber-mill-taxpayers-slugged-60m/news-story/ef5f02de110e2e45629a51b34215df2a
⁷Willingham, R, Anderson, S., Liberals ‘cave in’ and reject calls for new Great Forest National Park, ABC News, 1 October 2018 https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-01/victorian-liberals-reject-great-forest-national-park-plan/10326152
⁹Carey, Adam, The Age, 'Possum protection zones could be chopped in Coalition timber plan', 18 November 2018, https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/possum-protection-zones-could-be-chopped-in-coalition-timber-plan-20181114-p50g22.html
*This information is sourced from Friends of the Earth Vote Forests website, which is authorised by Cam Walker for Friends of the Earth, 312 Smith Street, Collingwood.
Authorised by Amelia Young, The Wilderness Society (Victoria) Inc., West Melbourne.