In response to the news that native forest logging in Victoria will end this year, Jess Abrahams, National Nature Campaigner at the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) and a former member of the Victorian Government’s Forest Industry Taskforce, said:
“Native forest logging has done terrible damage to Victoria’s ecosystems and wildlife over many decades, so this announcement by the Andrews government is welcome and needed.
“Logging has infamously sent the state’s faunal emblem, the critically endangered Leadbeater’s possum, to the brink of extinction, and has devastated the habitats of greater gliders and native fish.
“This is the result of years of hard work by conservationists, community groups and concerned Victorians who have refused to let this issue get swept under the carpet.
“Community groups have taken politicians out to logged forests to show them, first hand, the devastation caused by this destructive industry.
“Other community groups have spent countless nights out in the bush, spotlighting for endangered species in forests earmarked for logging, then working with lawyers to stop the chainsaws.
“This decision shows people power at work.
“Unsustainable native forest logging persists in New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania. We urge these states to move quickly to end the logging of Australia’s remaining native forests.
“Protected forests are good for us all. They create clean air, fresh water, homes for wildlife, sustainable jobs and a safe climate.
“The Andrews government must now move to establish a Great Forest National Park and a new national park for East Gippsland to make sure these forests are protected forever.
“Forests damaged by logging must now be restored and Traditional Owners should play a central role in this process.
“The Albanese government, as part of its reforms to national environment laws, must end the exemption that has allowed native forest logging to destroy threatened species habitat.”