National Party candidate tours our forest

Michael Spencer, Stephanie Ryan National Party candidate Euroa & Sim Ayres

Michael Spencer, Stephanie Ryan National Party candidate Euroa & Sim Ayres.

Recently, we had the pleasure of showing Stephanie Ryan, the National Party candidate for the new Victorian seat of Euroa, around the Strathbogie Forest. Stephanie has a busy schedule and we only had an hour or so, but we had time to talk and drive to several of the proposed VicForest coupes. And of course we showed her what can happen to a ‘mixed-species‘ logging coupe when things go wrong.

Failed VicForests coup

Here’s a reminder – failed VicForests coup, 8 years post-logging. Most of the ‘seed trees’ are dead, the regrowth is bracken-fern, dogwood and plenty of weeds.

We impressed on Stephanie that we’re not opposed to logging per se, but we are totally opposed to the current logging methods used by VicForests. The new Vic. Nats. candidate was well informed about how VicForests and the Timber Release Plan operate and we left her in no doubt that the overwhelming majority of the local community was opposed to VicForests’ plans.

Stephanie agreed to relay our group’s feelings to her fellow National member, Peter Walsh, Minister for Agriculture and also encouraged us to write to him personally outlining our concerns and how we envisage a way forward.

So, what is the best way forward?

There has been no examination of land-use in the Strathbogie Ranges since the Land Conservation Council’s studies in the 1970-80’s, despite significant changes in just about everything to do with land management: technology, markets, biodiversity conservation, water use and yield, population pressure, other forest industries and climate. Our group feels strongly that it’s high time for the Victorian Environment Assessment Council to undertake an independent study of all the issues relating to the sustainable management of these forests. And that’s what we’re pushing for, right up to the the November State election and beyond.

In the meantime, we want a moratorium on all logging in the Strathbogie Ranges, so that we don’t lose any more values ‘while the jury is out’.

We appreciate Stephanie giving us some of her precious time and hope we can work constructively together in the future.

Hancocks pine plantations; a reminder of the native forest that's already been lost.

Hancock’s pine plantations; a reminder of the native forest that’s already been lost (Mt Strathbogie on the horizon).

2 responses to “National Party candidate tours our forest

  1. Hello, I would have liked to post this to facebook but Bert’s blog is private. Is this just me? can we post more widely to promote political party interest to be seen in the forest? Kate Auty

    Date: Sun, 10 Aug 2014 10:09:22 +0000 To: kateauty@hotmail.com

  2. Hello, I came along to the meeting at Strathbogie in February, along with Uncle Roy Patterson from Taggerty. Tolmie and Bridge Creek (Murphy Fresh), and parts of Lima East are in the new District of Eildon – and there may also be quite a few of your supporters who also live in the new Eildon District. I’d like to arrange for Wirrun Sky Independent for Eildon to visit the area to meet with the local community. It would be very much appreciated if someone can please give me a couple of contacts for community members who may be interested to meet Wirrun regarding the issues of concern for them and their community. Thanks, Lorraine Leach 0417 372 128 or 8lorraine@m2data.com.au.

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