Up­set over vote to close Strath­bo­gie For­est

Euroa Gazette - - NEWS -

IT’S rate time again, $2000 what a bum­mer.

I be­lieve it’s a waste, as I don’t get value for money.

How­ever, what up­sets me more is Strath­bo­gie Shire Coun­cil’s re­cent vote, 5/2 in favour, of clos­ing the Strath­bo­gie For­est to log­ging.

In the tier of gov­ern­ment the Strath­bo­gie For­est is the prov­ince of the Vic­to­rian State Gov­ern­ment and not the re­motest re­spon­si­bil­ity of the shire.

The re­port, which was pur­ported to be writ­ten by shire staff, had in it what I be­lieve are half truths, ex­ag­ger­ated fig­ures and wild al­le­ga­tions.

Cr Alis­tair Thom­son as­sures all that clos­ing the for­est is im­por­tant. To whom?

As the rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Wom­bat Ward, Cr Thom­son, I don’t be­lieve, en­gaged in any kind of com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion…a sit­u­a­tion I think ex­tended to the whole shire.

I cer­tainly op­pose the idea, but the vote was qui­etly slipped through coun­cil.

So, we are to close the for­est to log­ging to save var­i­ous en­dan­gered flora and fauna. Is a list of names suf­fi­cient? I have not seen one piece of ev­i­dence of such an­i­mal losses pre­sented.

We are now en­cour­aged to plant plan­ta­tions on the table­land, yet the Shire of Strath­bo­gie has in place a by­law pro­hibit­ing the plant­ing of pines as it will be detri­men­tal to the com­mu­nity struc­ture.

Hard­wood plan­ta­tions re­quire 50 years to reach a size for cut­ting.

Frankly I don’t think Cr Thom­son has any idea what he is talk­ing about.

We are told we should en­joy our recre­ation in the soft­wood forests of Strath­bo­gie, but these forests are man­aged by Han­cock Vic­to­ria Plan­ta­tions, and I un­der­stand pub­lic ac­cess to these forests is not al­lowed ex­cept with per­mis­sion.

The na­tive for­est has two camp­ing grounds, one which is com­pletely in­ac­ces­si­ble.

How much coun­cil land is to be planted for fu­ture log­ging? None I sus­pect.

I un­der­stand an op­por­tu­nity was pro­vided for Vic For­est to make a pre­sen­ta­tion to coun­cil. Why didn’t this hap­pen? Add all this to­gether and I re­sent my $2000 rates and my coun­cil­lor who seems to rep­re­sent only the part of the ward that suits his views. Mark Black­well, Strath­bo­gie

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