Despite this summer's terrible bushfires, the government are rushing in to log fire-damaged forests, and precious unburnt areas under the renewed legal exemptions for the logging industry from national environment laws.
Thanks to thousands of Victorian's like you emailing the government and engaging in the RFA review process, important new clauses have been added to the agreements.
In the absence of scrapping the dodgy exemptions, the Victorian government has made commitments to:
1. Conduct risk assessments for all listed threatened species by October this year
2. Consider the impacts of climate change on vulnerable species
3. Review the current reserve system and update state environment laws
4. Conduct a major event review to consider the impacts of this summer's bushfires
We expect all these commitments to be conducted by independent scientific experts, in consultation with the community, and result in strengthened protections for threatened species.
Until the commitments are met, we're calling for an immediate moratorium on logging across Victoria. The government cannot continue logging wildlife habitat and threatened ecosystems after the devastating bushfires before new and stronger protections are implemented. Join us in calling for better protections for wildlife.
Legal exemption for the logging industry from federal environment law was signed off on Monday for another ten years in spite of the horrific impacts of the bushfires on forests and wildlife. Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) are agreements between State and Federal governments which give logging a special exemption from Federal environment laws (the EPBC Act). Logging is the only extractive industry which receives legal exemption, and will be disastrous for threatened species and forests devastated by the fires.
Given the extensive impacts of the bushfires on forests and wildlife the agreements should have been left to expire to give species a chance to recover. RFAs have allowed logging in thousands of hectares of threatened species habitat for over 20 years, and this will continue now they've been renewed. This will have devastating consequences for wildlife already on the brink of extinction. The Age have reported here.
Threatened Greater Glider, Federally listed on the EPBC Act which logging receives special exemption through the RFAsRead more
For twenty years the native forest logging industry has been exempt from complying with Federal environment laws. The exemption is granted through the Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs).Read more
Environment groups are raising concerns about the Victorian and federal governments decision to extend the East Gippsland Regional Forest Agreement (RFA).
The RFA is a 20 year agreement between state and federal governments that exempts logging from complying with Federal environment law. It was first signed in 1997 and expires today.
Logging is exempt from assessments under Federal law on the basis of state based logging regimes implementing measures to protect federally listed threatened species.
This week a coalition of 25 environment groups is urging Premier Daniel Andrews to abandon his plans to extend the legal exemption given to the native forest logging industry in East Gippsland.
The East Gippsland Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) is a 20-year arrangement between state and federal governments that gives special immunity to the logging industry from Federal environment laws - laws that should protect nationally listed threatened species.
Since the late 1990s the logging industry in Victoria has been exempt from adhering to federal environment laws that protect our nationally threatened wildlife.
Only native forest logging gets this special exemption known as a 'regional forest agreement' (RFA)
In February 2017 the East Gippsland RFA will expire.
It should not be extended.
Goongerah Environment Centre has joined with 31 other environment groups today, calling on the Federal government to abolish the Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs).
The RFAs are agreements between state and federal governments that lock in access to public forests for logging and exempt the state based logging industries from federal environment laws.
The twenty year agreements are set to expire in the coming years, with the East Gippsland RFA being the first agreement to expire in February 2017. We've joined with a coalition of groups calling on the RFAs to be scrapped and not rolled over.