The Victorian and federal governments appear to have quietly extended the East Gippsland Regional Forest Agreement, prompting the Greens to call for the failed logging laws to be scrapped.
“This is clearly something they aren’t proud of, or both governments would be spruiking the law’s benefits for jobs and the environment,” said Senator Janet Rice, Australian Greens forests spokesperson.
“Instead, we have what seems to be a dirty deal done in a dark parking lot.
“Australians have every right to be appalled that their forests will continue to be destroyed.
“These laws exempt logging from national environmental laws, allowing areas of irreplaceable native forests to be cut down, bulldozed and burnt with napalm.
“Logging of our native forests pollutes our clean air and water, destroys the homes of some of our most precious places, and contributes to dangerous global warming.”
The East Gippsland Regional Forest Agreement was the first of 10 Regional Forest Agreements between state and federal governments starting from 1997. The agreement was due to expire today 3 February 2017, but appears to have been extended until 2018 by the federal Liberal government and the state Labor government.
“Extending the Regional Forest Agreement is yet another kick in the guts for our forests in East Gippsland,” said the Victorian Greens forest spokesperson Samantha Dunn.
“By extending the Regional Forest Agreement, the state government has confirmed they're happy to see the destruction of our forests and extinction of native animals.
“What a short sighted move for future generations,” said Ms Dunn.
“These logging laws were meant to balance jobs and the environment, but have failed on both counts,” said Senator Rice.
“We had an opportunity to end the destruction and create jobs by transitioning to a sustainable plantation-based industry.
“This just puts off the inevitable. PM Turnbull and Premier Andrews must finally commit to scrapping these failed regimes now.”
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