Tak­ing hol­lows from for­est

Euroa Gazette - - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR -

Mark B Tame, Strath­bo­gie

I RE­FER to the let­ter from Mark Blackwell ‘Two sides of the for­est de­bate” ( Gazette, Novem­ber 23).

First let’s be clear what this dis­cus­sion is about.

On the one hand mem­bers of the Strath­bo­gie com­mu­nity are say­ing let’s have an in­de­pen­dent eval­u­a­tion of for­est val­ues and how best to man­age them be­fore log­ging forests in a way that will take decades to re­cover.

On the other hand Mr Blackwell, speak­ing from his back­ground in the log­ging in­dus­try, says the com­mu­nity has nei­ther a right nor a rea­son to ob­ject to be­ing de­prived of their forests.

He says only the big­gest and best trees will be logged; trees he “would be de­lighted to go through any mill [he] ran”.

Sadly Mr Blackwell, many of the trees are not go­ing any­where near a sawmill but straight to fire­wood as VicForests ad­mit­ted this week (VicForests 23.11.16).

Mr Blackwell ad­mits ‘stags’ with hol­lows were marked for felling.

Trees with hol­lows are the most im­por­tant breed­ing cen­tres in our forests. Tak­ing trees with hol­lows out of a for­est is like tak­ing hos­pi­tals, schools and mo­tels out of coun­try towns.

Un­for­tu­nately Mr Blackwell also re­sorts to “play­ing the man”.

He at­tacks the Strath­bo­gie Ranges Con­ser­va­tion Man­age­ment Net­work (CMN) for sim­ply do­ing what our con­sti­tu­tion says we were set up to do; pro­tect­ing and en­hanc­ing bio­di­ver­sity in the Strath­bo­gie Ranges.

On sev­eral oc­ca­sions now he has at­tempted to den­i­grate this or­gan­i­sa­tion with his con­spir­acy the­o­ries.

Can I say to Mr Blackwell: Strath­bo­gie Ranges CMN is on open or­gan­i­sa­tion. Any­one can join. Our au­dited ac­counts are avail­able. Pro­gram funds are ac­counted for to our fun­ders.

In­stead of at­tend­ing our re­cent AGM, ad­ver­tised on our web­site, or cor­re­spond­ing di­rectly with the com­mit­tee, he re­sorts to at­tack­ing the or­gan­i­sa­tion and vol­un­teers on our com­mit­tee both in the Gazette and the Com­mu­nity No­tice­board. Bad form. The Strath­bo­gie Sus­tain­able For­est Group is sup­ported by Mr Blackwell’s neigh­bours, mem­bers of his own com­mu­nity.

Con­trary to Mr Blackwell’s claims Strath­bo­gie Ranges CMN has not been in po­si­tion to fund this group. It has cer­tainly not di­verted funds re­ceived for other pur­poses. Michael Spencer Pres­i­dent Strath­bo­gie Ranges Con­ser­va­tion Man­age­ment Net­work

Abuse) Bill 2016;

Amend­ment (Suc­ces­sion and Re­lated Mat­ters) Bill 2016; Ban) Bill 2016; ment (De­vel­op­ment Vic­to­ria) Bill 2016.

More in­for­ma­tion on the pro­posed Bills can be found at www.par­lia­ment.vic.gov.au/leg­is­la­tion.

Steph Ryan (MLA, Euroa)

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