TO THE EDITOR
is time for the Victorian Association of Forst Industries
to face the facts. During the recent state election all
five ALP candidates based in Geelong spoke out against
clearfell logging in Otways water catchments. A petition
signed by over 6,500 Geelong residents, which condemns
the practise, was tabled in parliament on December 1st.
The Apollo Bay Chamber of Commerce, the Surf Coast Shire,
and the City of Greater Geelong have also formally expressed
their deep concerns about clearfell logging in these catchments.
response the Regional Forest Agreement Steering Committee
held a 'Water Summit' in Geelong which confirmed that
clearfell logging has demonstrable impacts upon water
quality and quantity. Barwon Water is now urging the Department
of Natural Resources and Environment to conduct more research
into this issue.
public knows that native timber is being sold off at between
30 to 60 % below market value according to a report by
KPMG. People realise that it is their taxes which are
going toward erosion prone logging tracks and expensive
roads. They also are aware that the unsightly mess left
by clearfelling jeopardises tourism in the Great Ocean
Road region which brings in $250 million per annum from
overnight visitors alone.
than attacking our council for making a sensible decision
for the long-term prosperity of our region, organisations
like VAFI should be sitting around a table with them and
other stakeholders to discuss an overhaul of the industry.
There is $13 million of structural adjustment money remaining
which could go to finding sustainable jobs, including
work in plantations. All we need is a spirit of cooperation,
a little vision and the political will to see it through.
Geelong Community Forum