VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT MUST ACT TO IMMEDIATELY END NATIVE LOGGING

With tens of thousands of hectares set aside by the Victorian government to protect the greater glider and other threatened species currently being ravaged by bushfires, Clifford Hayes says the Government must act with haste. Mr Hayes says the Victorian Government must act to immediately end of native forest logging in Victoria, (not phase out over 10 years) as clear-fell logging of older forests is scientifically proven to increase the risk and severity of bushfire events. In a 2014 study, Australian researchers concluded that logging can 'greatly “increase' fire severity for 50 years.1 Mr Hayes said the Government cannot allow these logging practices to continue for another 10 years, given the state’s susceptibility to bushfires. “Native old growth forest logging must cease as a matter of high priority, not in a decade” he said. “It has been proven time and time again that logging contributes to the risk of severe bushfires. “Trees between seven and 36 years of age are most prone to serious bushfires—trees that are planted by the timber industry to replace old growth forest that has been felled.” “When they cut the trees down and regrow the forest, they’re adding extra fuel with timber debris and the addition of saplings, which require plenty of water and dry out the surrounding soil.” “It appears the scale and severity of these fires is a result of climate change, a lack of fuel reduction burning and poor forest management.” “We need to completely revise forest policy in our state.”