Wednesday, June 25, 2008

12 councils now oppose logging in melbourne's catchments

Great news to hear this week that the Boroondara and Nillumbik Councils have joined with Yarra Ranges in opposing logging in Melbourne's water catchments.

Back in November 2007 I moved a motion to oppose logging of our catchments after concerns about logging in the Armstrong and Cement Creek were raised by a local environmental group, the Central Highlands Alliance. Both of these regions are well within the boundaries of the Shire of Yarra Ranges.

Little did I know that the issue would take hold through the local government sector. Water is a key focus, we see our state government spending billions of dollars on new water infrastructure and yet they continue to allow logging of our water catchments. Studies have shown that the value of water production in our catchments far outweighs that of logging.

Cambarville, a logging coupe near Melbourne's water catchments, how can this be sustainable?

The government is re-examining the value of water versus wood in a project it calls The Wood and Water Project. I am a member of the Sustainability Assessment Stakeholder Reference Group for the project. I have some serious concerns about this project in particular the fact that there is no option to cease logging in 2009/10 as part of the assessment regimes being considered. I was so concerned that that in May I moved a motion to write (to various politicians, DSE bureaucrats and consultants) detailing the case for including as part of the assessments for the Wood and Water Project the option of ceasing logging in Melbourne's water catchments by 2009/10 and including reference to the 8 councils who have recently opposed logging in Melbourne's water catchments.

It is imperative that the option of ceasing logging by 2009/10 is included as one of the regimes for sustainability assessment. I was very concerned that all the suggested regimes did not consider an immediate end to logging of Melbourne's water catchments, with 2030 being the regime with the earliest cessation of logging being assessed. Our water catchments cannot cope with another 22 years of logging, not if we want to harvest water from them.

The municipalities now opposing logging in Melbourne's water catchments represent a population of over 1.4 million Melbourne residents. There is a growing groundswell of concern about logging of our catchments in a time of critical water shortage, with grave concerns about biodiversity and climate change too.

Yarra Ranges is still waiting for a response to our request, if the government is genuine about the Wood and Water Project it will include the cease logging by 09/10 option, if it isn’t included I question the value of the project.

It is foolhardy to continue the practice of logging in our water catchments. Eleven other municipalities agree with Yarra Ranges. I hope you’re listing Mr Brumby, Mr Holding and Mr Jennings.

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At 9:11 PM, Blogger david santos said...

Excellent post and very nice photo.
Have a nice day

At 11:04 PM, Blogger Samantha Dunn said...

Thanks David


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