Key points from the Victoria Forests agreement
Victorian Premier Dan Andrews government has announced an end to native forest logging—but not until 2030. This change can and must come sooner. Here, a list of the key points in light of the recent government announcement.
Key points about the recent industrial forestry announcements:
- There’s a wood supply crisis (evidence measure: HCV forests have to be logged to meet unsustainable wood quotas), and an environment crisis (evidence measure: wildlife extinction, ecosystem collapse)
- Government has now recognised that industry change is inevitable, with Jaclyn Symes, the agriculture minister, on the record saying: “the native timber industry isn’t sustainable” and “we do not have enough native forest to meet demand.”
- Government has made a raft of promises but is extremely light on details
- Promises to ‘immediately protect’ forest aren’t yet implemented
- Forest is not protected, until it is protected
- How will government formally protect forests?
- The so-called ‘Immediate Protection Areas’ include burnt forest, logged forest, and forest that isn’t commercially attractive to the industry, meaning it was unlikely to ever be logged anyway
- It’s good that the Greater Glider Action Statement is out but it weakens existing protections for the species in East Gippsland. Rather than putting in place a 100ha Special Protection Zone when a density of Greater Gliders is detected, now logging can take place when Greater Gliders are detected.
- How will the government guarantee that this species will beat extinction?
- Government promised to immediately protect 90,000 hectares of old growth forest, and immediately ban all logging in old growth forest -- but is not saying HOW it will achieve either of these things. Outstanding questions include:
- How will the government identify old-growth?
- How will it actually protect 90,000 hectares of old growth, as promised?
- How will a ban actually be put on logging in old growth forests?
- How will IPAs be formally protected?
- Government must provide a timetable setting out how it will make good on the promises made to protect forests
- The announcements aren’t in line with the science, or in line with community expectations
- The announcements mean there is still a large gap to close
- The announcements don’t change the critical need for the GFNP or Emerald Link - both of which government should declare