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Monday, 20 October 1997
Page: 9229

To the Honourable Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled.

For permanent protection of old-growth forests and all other areas of high conservation value, and for the implementation of tree plantation strategies.

This petition from the undersigned respectfully points out that: there is an increasing and urgent demand from the people, to protect all remaining high conservation value forests which support flora and fauna unique to Australia, thus complying with the United Nations Biodiversity Convention to which Australia is a signatory. We have a responsibility to future and present generations, and the necessary reasons, knowledge and technology to act now on the following achievable solutions.

Your petitioners therefore request that the House of Representatives legislate to:

   immediately stop all logging and woodchipping activities in high conservation value native forests;

   ensure intergenerational equity by planning for the rights of future generations, and protecting in perpetuity all biologically diverse old-growth forests, wilderness, rainforests and critical habitats of endangered species;

   facilitate rapid transition of the timber industry from harvesting high conservation value native forests, to establishing mixed-species farm forestry on existing cleared and degraded lands, using non-toxic methods to protect ecological sustainability;

   maximise use of readily-available plantation timber for industry needs, using appropriate forestry techniques and progressive minimal-waste processing methods, such as radial sawing, and wherever possible, reuse and recycle wood and paper products;

   support incentives for nationwide employment in composting, soil remineralisation programs, and the planting programs of trees and annual fibre crops, inter-grown with appropriate fruit and nut trees and medicinal plants;

   encourage sensitively-managed, environmental education tourism in appropriate forest areas, with full respect for natural ecosystems, Aboriginal cultural heritage, sacred sites and other sites of significance; and

   progressively utilise technological expertise and resources transferred from the military sector, to help implement these tree planting solutions; and to motivate the international community to follow this example.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.