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Native Forest Logging - Members statement


This year we lost more forest than ever to fire, but our native forests continue to take a beating. While the fires were burning log trucks rumbled out of Kinglake, the Rubicon Valley and the Central Highlands laden with native trees. If trees were not ablaze, they were being logged.

And while many businesses are closed to prevent virus transmission, the logging continues. In recent weeks we have seen plumes of smoke rising from logged coupes east of Melbourne as they burn the branches and undergrowth left behind.

These burns are hotter than fuel reduction burns and blanket the surrounding area in smoke, subjecting people for miles around, including in the outer eastern suburbs, to small particle pollution with its attendant health consequences.

Leadbeater’s possums, greater gliders, powerful owls and sooty owls are among the better known species depleted by the recent fires and those in 2009. Already devastated by fire, their habitats are disappearing to logging at 3000 hectares per year, with scant attention paid to the precious wildlife that remains.

Just a few days ago volunteers from Wildlife of the Central Highlands spotted a Leadbeater’s possum within the active Desilijic logging coupe between Mount Baw Baw and the Thomson Dam. Habitat just 100 metres away had just been clear-felled. That possum’s days are numbered.

We were pleased last year to hear the Andrews government acknowledge that the supply of mature native timber is so depleted by fire and logging that native forest logging is no longer sustainable. They have said it will stop in 10 years if they remain in power. Trashing our forests costs us more than we can calculate, and after this year’s terrible losses of ecosystems, flora and fauna it needs to stop well before then.

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Dr Tim Read
Greens MP for Brunswick
5 May 2020
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