Victorian Government Must Support VicForests & Regulator

Victorian Government Must Support VicForests & Regulator

Shadow Assistant Minister for Forestry, Gary Blackwood, is calling on the Andrews Labor Government to do more to support VicForests and the timber industry.

Speaking today, Mr Blackwood said there had been a clear line of attack on VicForests for many  years from third party interest groups who were using unsubstantiated claims to drive a false narrative against VicForests for self-interest and political gain.

“The Victorian Office of the Conservation Regulator had dismissed claims by Green activists at a Senate hearing this week that VicForests systematically breached forest laws by logging areas steeper than 30 degrees in slope,” said Mr Blackwood.

“While minor breaches were identified in two coupes, the Conservation Regulator in their report found that accusations of widespread, systematic breaches could not be substantiated.

Mr Blackwood said VicForests worked diligently to ensure that their practices were world leading, and that unsubstantiated and vexatious claims were being made to sensationalise the impact these minor breaches had on catchment areas.

“We continually see a trend in commentary around the Victorian timber industry that it is harming our environment or that these practices are undermining ecological systems, yet time and time again regulators investigating those claims find that we continue to have world leading best practices.

“Claims that these minor breaches in two coupes put catchment drinking water supply at risk are purely designed to create sensational headlines to drive a narrative that timber harvesting is bad for the environment and putting community health at risk is simply not true.

“The Andrews Labor Government must do more in this space to clear the air regarding timber harvesting and to support VicForests who are lawfully carrying out activity in these areas.

“The Andrews Labor Government’s own regulator has stated they have a direct focus on slope regulation in coupe areas to ensure the highest levels of compliance possible.

“It’s time the Andrews Labor Government stepped up, backed its own regulator and VicForests, and did more to expose these vexatious allegations for what they are,” said Mr Blackwood.

Gary Blackwood MP
State Member for Narracan
3/24 Mason Street
WARRAGUL 3820 

Ph: 5623 1960
Fax: 5623 4506

Email: gary.blackwood@parliament.vic.gov.au  

                   

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