Otway Ranges Environment Network



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AGE: Otway decision right on the mark


The Age
Letter to the editor
Otway decision right on the mark
Simon Birrell and Roger Hardley
12th June 2006.

Recent comments made by the native forest logging industry, crying over the excellent decision made by the Victorian Government to end all native forest logging in the Otways, demonstrate just how out of touch this industry is with the sentiment of the average Victorian who loves the Otway forests along the Great Ocean Road.

The article in the Business Age (7/6) seems to suggest the native forest logging industry has failed to learn a few lessons from the Otway experience.

The decision to end logging in the Otways was the result of years of departmental mismanagement, the practice of clearfell logging and the growth of the woodchip industry.

The industry criticises the public for electing a State government brave enough to stand up to protect Otway domestic water supply catchments, the Otway forest based tourism industry and forest nature conservation values.

For a decade, the Otway Ranges Environment Network has driven the campaign to end native forest logging in the Otway State Forest.

The native forest logging industry needs comes to terms with the reality that in the 21st century, the owners of public land in Victoria, the voters, can determine how that land is managed.

If there is a lack of industry confidence due to this political reality, then the native forest logging industry leaders need to work on transition plans to develop a sustainable industry that is acceptable to an intelligent and well informed public.

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