Friday, September 07, 2012

burke, considering a visit?

I thought it timely on National Threatened Species Day to report back on Yarra Ranges' invitation to Minister Tony Burke.

Back in June council resolved to invite the Federal Minister for the Environment, Tony Burke, to visit Yarra Ranges to visit threatened habitat of the Leadbeaters Possum, Victoria's faunal emblem (see blog). It was terrific to learn that last week Murrundindi Council also resolved to invite Minister Burke down for a visit.

As a follow up to our invitation Yarra Ranges Council has been advised that the Compliance and Enforcement Branch of the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (yes that's a big portfolio) is currently reviewing the documents produced during the MyEnvironment v VicForests court case (see blog) to determine whether logging operations have been, and are being, conducted in accordance with the Central Highlands Regional Forest Agreement.

I've also been advised that the federal Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will be initiating engagement with both the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) and VicForests to discuss the forest management issues relating to Leadbeaters Possum.

The Minister advises that our invitation will be considered "in the light of his present and future commitments". I do hope the Minister does have the opportunity to visit, he himself can see the devastation being caused and the significant loss of habitat and biodiversity.

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