Last week the Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Ryan Smith, visited the Strathbogie Forest with Liberal Candidate for the Seat of Euroa Tony Schneider. The Minister heard and saw first-hand the issues that locals have been discussing for the last 12 months.
- A forest management blue-print that’s 30 years old
- VicForests’ plans to increase logging, in spite of some disastrous forest management outcomes
- Products from these forests (biofuel) used to under-cut the local farm-forestry industry
- The sacrifice of other forest values such as bee keeping, recreation, biodiversity, water catchment, tourism.
In response, the Minister has committed the Victorian Liberal Party to an investigation, undertaken by VEAC, into how these last remaining forests in the Strathbogie Ranges can be best managed for the benefit of all stakeholders.
In today’s Media Release, Liberal Candidate Tony Schneider said “We need to ensure that our industry and environmental practices are balanced and practical and all parties were in agreement that a VEAC Review was the appropriate place to start.”
The Strathbogie Sustainable Forests Campaign has long argued the merits of a VEAC investigation to review management of forests on public land in the Srathbogie Ranges; “It’s the best way for all stakeholders to have input into a decision making process that’s inclusive, transparent and has a proven track-record.” says Sim Ayres, a spokesperson for the group.
Mr Ayres continued “The community’s goal is to have a full review of forest management on public land in the Strathbogies and Tony Schneider’s & the Minister’s support have been a most valuable step in this direction. We very much appreciate Tony’s involvement and it shows he is focused on local community.”