October 17 2018
Strathbogie Shire Council calls for an end to logging and better protection of the Strathbogie Forest
A regional local government Council has joined the call for the Andrews Government to end native forest logging and protect the Strathbogie Forest in new conservation reserve. The Strathbogie Shire Council moved a motion with a five to two majority at its Ordinary Meeting last night October 16, 2018.
Local trucking company owner and spokesperson for Save Our Strathbogie Forest, Shirley Saywell, has strongly welcomed the Council decision:
‘This is a tremendous decision by the Strathbogie Shire Council who have listened to community concerns about the ongoing destruction of our forests from logging’ Ms Saywell said today, ‘ Our community has been ignored by the Victorian government for too long. We now hope that the Andrews government takes action and moves to protect the Strathbogie Forest.’
The Council decision comes on the back of new community-funded report recommending protection of the Strathbogie Forest in a new conservation reserve.
‘This forest is too valuable to lose, and we call upon both Daniel Andrews and Matthew Guy to make strong forest commitments to protect our forests and invest in our community ahead of the Victorian election next month.’
‘A decision to protect the Strathbogie Forest by the Coalition or Labor, as part of a forests and conservation policy would receive strong support from communities across our region . It will demonstrate furthermore that regional communities’ forest concerns are being listened to. It will also provide opportunities for new jobs and economic growth in regional Victoria.’
The full Council Motion
- Call on the Victorian State Government to cease native timber harvesting activities in the Strathbogie Forest.
- Call on the Victorian Government to accelerate the transition from native timber harvesting in Victoria, to plantation-based timber supply with changes to taxation incentives, and advocacy to the Federal Government for changes to regulations to give plantation timber better access to carbon farming schemes.
- Supportsthe establishment of a protected conservation area under the National Parks Act 1975, encompassing all of the existing Strathbogie State Forest and associated public land.
- Promote the economic future of the Strathbogie Forest as focused on nature-based tourism and recreational activities and work with local groups and regional tourism bodies to achieve this.
- Notify the Victorian Government Ministers responsible for Agriculture and Environment, as well as Local, State and Federal Members, of this resolution.
The full council meeting agenda can be viewed here
Other key information:
● The Andrews government has the worst record of any Victorian Government over the past sixty years in declaring new national parks.
● 74% of native forest in the Strathbogie Ranges has been cleared, with less than 2% of the Strathbogie Ranges permanently protected in formal conservation reserves.
● At 24,000 ha, it is the largest block of Public Land in the Strathbogies.
● The Strathbogie Forest is of statewide significance for the Greater Glider possum, listed as a threatened species under the federal Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act. The forest has one of the healthiest Greater Glider population known in all Victoria.
The Community-produced report recommended the following:
● that the Andrews Government enable the formal protection of the Strathbogie Forest under the National Parks Act, encompassing all of the existing State Forest and other associated public land, as part of its election commitments in 2018.
● The statewide significance of these forests for meeting National Reserve System targets, Victorian Government protection commitments and for the future survival of the nationally endangered Greater Glider possum population requires their urgent protection in a conservation reserve.
● Formal protection of these forests for nature conservation also helps demonstrate the commitment of the Andrews Government to land settlement agreements being negotiated with the Taungerong Clans
For comment Shirley Saywell 0427246900
Just a reminder why this forest is worth protecting: