the State and Federal Government signed the Interim Forest
Agreement which restricts all State forest logging operations
in the Otways FMA to coupes outlined in the 1995/96 to
1997/98 and 1998/99 to 2000/01 Wood Utilization Plans
We would like to raise
the following issues
- New Coups
In the 1999/00 to 2001/02
WUP there are coupes marked as ‘new coups’ for the 1999/00
logging season that do not appear on the 1998/99 to
2000/01 WUP. These ‘new coups’ include
CHARLEYS CK STH 07/237/507/03
ESCARPMENT ROAD 07/239/501/09
BONE TK 07/255/501/07
KENNEDY PIPELINE 07/256/501/03
MT McKENZIE RDLINE 07/234/508/00 Roadline
LINK TK RDLNE 07/235/504/11 Roadline
Additionally there are
twelve more ‘new coups’ added for logging in the 2000/01
and 2001/02 season.
Could we please have
confirmation that coups marked as ‘new coups’ do not
have approval from the Commonwealth Government for logging
and hence cannot be logged until after the West RFA
- Roadline Coups
The 1999/00 to 2001/02
WUP nominates four roadline coups that are marked ‘Prev.part
of’, as being endorsed by the Commonwealth. These coups
COOPERS NO1 RL 07/242/523/00 Prev.part
MUD ROADLINE 07/244/542/00 Prev.part of 07/244/542/02
COLDWATER CK RL 07/251/685/00** Prev.part of 07/251/685/03
KING TK RDLINE 07/255/502/00* Prev.part of 07/255/502/02
Roadline coups marked *
are in the Gellibrand (Warrnambool) domestic water supply
catchment. Roadline coups marked ** are in the West Barwon
(Geelong) domestic water supply catchment.
The Commonwealth Government
endorsement for the above roadline coups is disputed for
the following reasons.
- The roadline coupes addresses do not
appear on the 1998/99 to 2000/01 WUP. To build the new
roads, additional areas of forest will have to be logged.
These additional areas and associated volumes of timber
were not listed on the 1998/99 to 2000/01 WUP.
- Some roadline coups were clearly marked
with coup addresses on the 1998/99 to 2000/01 WUP. They
NO1 SPUR RDLINE 07/251/663/08
HAYDENS RDLINE 07/249/665/00
The inclusion of the
above three roadline coups on the 1998/99 to 2000/01
WUP is an acknowledgment that roadline coup addresses
and associated data have to be included for the Commonwealth
Government to give endorsement. This is consistent with
Clause 2 of the Interim Forest Agreement. Approval for
the disputed roadline coups could only be granted subject
to Clause 3.1. (See Variation to the Interim Forest
Agreement dated 26/6/1998.)
The Interim Forest
Agreement has a definition of "Commercial timber
harvesting" which includes "associated roading
activities". Associated roading activities do
not include the commercial removal of trees as this
would contradict Clause 2 of the Interim Forest Agreement.
The roadline coups
in dispute collectively represent 9.1 kilometers of
roads for which 5.9 kilometers are in domestic water
supply catchments. An additional 1,700 meter cubed
of D+ logs and 3,300 tones of residual trees will
be logged as a result. The Commonwealth Government
must consider the physical and political impacts these
roads will have on sensitive domestic water supply
catchments, particularly in the West Barwon catchment.
Could you please confirm
if the Commonwealth has given endorsement to the four
disputed roadline coups and if so, was the public consulted
as required by Clause 10 of the Interim Forest Agreement.
Can you please provide copies of the Clause 3.1 agreements
for the disputed roadline coups if available.
- West RFA Timeline
Due to the Victorian State
election and a delay in forming a State Government, it
is anticipated the completion date for the West RFA will
be extended into next year. This means the Interim Forest
Agreement will also be extended. If such an extension
occurs Conservation groups such as the Otway Ranges Environment
Network (OREN) insist on being involved in any review
of Otway Deferred Forests Areas (Otway DFA).
Since it is likely that
a Minority ALP State Government will form in Victoria,
the following statements made in the "Labor’s
Policy for the Western Forest Agreement" are
The ALP policy statement
"Already the Western
RFA public consultation time has been cut down and rushed
through to meet the 31st December deadline".
"Labor does not
support Regional Forest Agreements which do not include
the meaningful participation of all the relevant parties,
and which are not open and accountable".
the region value the water catchments in the Otway State
Forest as a major resource contributing to the region’s
viability and capacity for growth. This resource must
"People in the
Geelong region deserve to have their water catchments
managed in a way which ensures that the availability of
the water supply is commensurable to that enjoyed by their
counterparts in metropolitan Melbourne."
Due to these policy statements,
OREN insists on reviewing all existing logging coups with
input from other relevant parties before the 1999/00 logging
season commences. Additionally any revisions and extensions
to the Otway DFA should only occur after consultation
and input from OREN.
Could we please have confirmation
members from OREN will be involved in ‘meaningful participation’
during the formation of a revised Otway DFA.
For the Otway Ranges Environment