The Terms of Reference for the Great Forest National Park Industry Taskforce have been released.
The taskforce – comprising forest, fibre and wood products industry, unions and forest conservation groups – will deliver recommendations directly to the Victoria Premier’s office by the end of June 2016.
The group has been directed to “reach common ground on a durable, long-term set of recommendations and proposals to government, about future issues facing the industry, job protection, economic activity, protection of our unique native flora and fauna and threatened species, such as the Leadbeater’s possum”.
The Taskforce will consider several questions during the project, including:
- What would the scope and scale of any new national parks and reserves in eastern Victoria be?
- What would be required to ensure the viability of threatened species and forest health across the broader forest ecosystem?
- Where would any fibre and wood come from to provide a secure, sustainable resource for industry and enable opportunities for future industry growth?
- What other economic, forest use and recreational activities, if any, ought to be taken into account in future state forest use and management decisions?
The Terms of Reference stated that theTaskforce would rely on expert evidence, analysis and facilitation, and the engagement of relevant affected groups and the broader Victorian community.
The recommendations, reached by consensus, will be designed to successfully create and sustain jobs and industry growth, conserve high value ecological assets, protect key species and to implement a durable plan for Victoria’s forests.
The public will remain informed of the Taskforce’s workings through a website to be established and media releases. Formal engagement with users such as the SSAA Victoria will commence in late February.
Meanwhile, SSAA and Deerstalkers member Tim Surtees is calling for people to sign his Change.org petition against the Great Forest National Park proposal.
“Say no to the proposed Great Forest National Park” has already received 7126 signatures in a week.
Members who wish to sign the petition can follow this link.