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A step forward for Victoria's RFAs.



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SENATOR THE HON. IAN MACDONALD Minister for Forestry and Conservation

Home Back to Media Releases AFFA02/72M 4 June 2002

 

A step forward for Victoria’s RFAs

Uncertainty in forest management in Victoria would be alleviated under proposed State legislation intended to complement the Federal Government’s Regional Forest Agreements Act 2002.

Minister for Forestry and Conservation Senator Ian Macdonald, said today legislation introduced in the Victorian Parliament was a step forward in providing a balanced approach to forest management in that State.

The Victorian Forests Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2002 aims to provide a secure land base for forest industries; a comprehensive adequate and representative reserve system; and ecological sustainable management and use of forested areas in the RFA regions.

Senator Macdonald said the timber industry was important to the Victorian economy — with hardwood alone contributing $1.8 billion and employing 10,000 people in direct and related industries — and could not afford to suffer an extended period of uncertainty.

He said the proposed State legislation provided a basis to progress the debate in Victoria towards sustainable forest management that recognised the value of both jobs and the environment.

“In addition, the Victorian Government should meet payment of adequate compensation in relation to any reasonable loss or damage arising from the curtailment of legally exercisable rights arising from the reduction of resource areas,” Senator Macdonald said.

“I am eager to see open debate and discussion in Victoria from both Opposition and Government members to provide a balanced outcome for forest industries, regional communities and conservation interests”.

Further inquiries:

Senator Macdonald's office: Zac Donovan (02) 6277 7270