The Andrews Labor government’s release of a new logging plan will hasten the decline of Australia’s largest gliding marsupial the Greater Glider, says Goongerah Environment Centre Office (GECO).
In June 2017 the Greater Glider was listed as vulnerable to extinction under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act but nearly two years later a legally required action plan that is supposed to outline protection measures has not been released.
GECO spokesperson Ed Hill said:
“The new Timber Release Plan has approved the destruction of hundreds of hectares of high quality Greater Glider habitat in East Gippsland, including areas on the Errinundra plateau and Cottonwood range that are known hot spots for this animal that is already on a pathway to extinction.”
Photo: Logged Greater Glider habitat in the Cottonwood range
“The Andrews Labor government has blatantly ignored scientific evidence that logging kills Greater Gliders and has arrogantly thumbed its nose at legal obligations to release an action plan. Instead the new plan has increased logging in sensitive habitats that must be protected.”
“Additional areas of rare and precious old growth forests have been targeted in the new plan. It’s disgraceful that a supposedly progressive government that talks up its climate action credentials is still logging untouched old growth forests that are among Victoria’s greatest stores of carbon.”
“The Andrews government knows full well the value of Victoria’s forests for wildlife, water, tourism and a safe climate, yet so far they have consistently failed to show leadership.”
“The new changes to the logging plans have removed 90% of planned logging areas along the route of the government’s proposed Sea to Summit hiking trail that was controversially being logged earlier this year. This is welcome and shows the government know the importance of these forests, but much more needs to be done.”
“Tinkering around the edges by moving logging out of one area and intensifying it in another shows just how paralyzed this government is when it comes to addressing this issue with the genuine leadership that is needed.”
“The East Gippsland native forest logging industry is on a rapid pathway to inevitable change, Premier Andrews must show genuine leadership to bring forward meaningful conservation outcomes that protect high environmental values forests and transition jobs into nature based tourism, sustainable agriculture and environmentally focused land management programs.”
Media contact: Ed Hill 0414 199 645 [email protected]