Saturday, June 11, 2011

ethical paper - commentary continues

The commentary continues from Yarra Ranges council resolution to sign the Ethical Paper Pledge. I've received a terrific amount of support for council's position when I've been out and about at events in the local community.

We've had a letter in the local paper from MP for Evelyn, Christine Fyffe. Christine covers the Lilydale region of the Shire.

We've had a letter in the local paper from MP for Gembrook, Brad Battin. Brad covers the Dandenong Ranges in the Belgrave/Selby area as well as the Upper Yarra area including Yarra Junction and Warburton.

There's been an article in the Weekly Times where John Lenders has told Victorian Parliament that Japanese-owned Australian Paper, near Traralgon, is likely to lose "international environmental accreditation'' unless it moves away from native forest woodchip harvested by Victorian Government native forest logging agency VicForests.

Australian Paper jobs on the line
Weekly Times
by Leslie White
7 June 2011

We've seen Lilydale Chamber of Commerce president, Aussie Home Loans franchisee Alister Osborn, come out against council's support of the Ethical Paper Pledge.

Lilydale business to fight council Reflex paper ban
Leader Newspapers
by Alex Munro
7 June 11

We've also see The Age feature a story highlighting that Australian Paper's international certification is at risk will come as an embarrassment to Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh, who recently threatened to take forestry jobs away from the Yarra Ranges Council unless it ends a boycott of Reflex paper.

Green paper needs Reflex action
The Age
by Ben Butler
30 May 2011

It's seems at the heart of it was the letter that council received from Minister for Agriculture and Food Security, Peter Walsh. Futher exacerbated by a hand out of this letter at the MAV state council meeting.

I reiterate the statement issued by our Mayor in relation to our resolution to sign the Ethical Paper Pledge.

Ethical Paper Pledge
"Council's procurement policy supports sustainability, protection of the environment, corporate social responsibility and local community needs.

We purchase copy paper in line with the procurement policy, it requires that paper is made in Australia to minimise 'paper miles' and our carbon footprint. The paper Yarra Ranges purchases contains 80% recycled fibre and 20% plantation timber fibre, it contains no native forest content from any country.

Australian Paper supplies almost 100% of Council's paper and their Australian (TM) product line was chosen on its environmental credentials and alignment with our sustainable procurement commitments.

We purchase paper in accordance with the Ethical Paper Pledge and encourage other authorities to do likewise. We feel strongly that the pledge is an accurate reflection of our commitment to sustainability, protection of the environment, corporate social responsibility and local community needs as outlined in the procurement policy."

Relocation of VicForests' corporate offices
"Council is supportive in principle of a proposal to relocate the VicForests corporate headquarters to the Yarra Glen/Healesville area. As part of this approach, the CEO of Yarra Ranges Council has had meetings with Minister Walsh and the VicForests CEO to advance the project.

Such a partnership would demonstrate the commitment of State Government and Council to expand local employment bases, promote working closer to home, deliver recurrent operational savings and stimulate the local economy in areas directly affected by the February 2009 bushfires.

We are disappointed that Minister Walsh has chosen to establish a direct link between the two unrelated issues. We certainly remain open to discussing the opportunities to partner with the State Government to relocate VicForests' corporate headquarters to Yarra Ranges."

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