If you have time, please send a letter by close of business Tuesday 9/12 to John Lenders as the Minister responsible. Feel free to use/edit the one below.
More information and photos on the tragic logging of Brown Mountain is available if you need it here.
Minister John Lenders, MLC
Treasurer, Leader of the Government, Legislative Council
Level 4, 1 Treasury Place,
East Melbourne 3002
Dear Minister Lenders,
I am writing to express my strong disapproval of the logging of old growth forest in progress at Brown Mountain that VicForests has approved. This area of forest, designated as old growth forest by the Department of Sustainability and Environment, should be protected in accordance with Labor policy released in 2006.
The policy in question stated that:
"In addition to the Goolengook Block, a Labor Government will immediately protect remaining significant stands of old growth forest currently available for timber harvesting by including them in the National Parks and reserves system."
There are more than 50 trees over 300 years old in this area of forest, which is adjacent to Errinundra National Park. This forest also provide habitat for threatened species such as the Powerful Owl, the Spot Tailed Quoll, mainland Australia's largest marsupial carnivore, and the Long-footed Potoroo, Victoria's rarest marsupial. This forest provides water for the depleted Snowy River catchment.
This forest also stores over 1000 tonnes of carbon per hectare, much of which is released as carbon emissions when the forest is clear felled and burnt. Locals had also recently constructed East Gippsland's first old growth forest walk in this forest, which the Department of Sustainability and Environment confirmed during site visits. Much of this has now already been destroyed, which is jeopardising tourism in the region.
Your parliamentary website lists your interests as bushwalking, camping, cycling, swimming. All these activities would be enhanced if this Brown Mountain forest, and the rest of Victoria's remaining old growth forests were protected.
VicForest's reports indicate that over 80% of what is logged when these forests are destroyed ends up as low value woodchips. There is much greater long term economic gain for Victoria if this forest is protected, thereby realising its ecotourism potential and its role in carbon storage and water production.
Can you please instruct VicForests to immediately cease the logging of Brown Mountain and all other remaining old growth forest in Victoria?