Members statements: World Environment Day
A belated but happy World Environment Day for Sunday, everyone. I hope you were able to mark the day in some way by taking some time to enjoy nature. I had the pleasure of spending it in the foothills of the Toolangi State Forest with our brave forest defenders at an event hosted by the Victorian Forest Alliance. It brought the community together to join the fight to save the Tanglefoot remnant forests from even more logging by VicForests. These native forests are the lungs that allow us to breathe fresh air and provide the water that we rely on. They are the habitat for critically endangered species such as the Leadbeater’s possum, the wollert and the myriad plant and animal life that need our forests to survive.
We have just had the most extensive parliamentary inquiry into the extinction crisis facing our state. Yet not only have we not seen a formal response to this inquiry by the government, let alone the urgent funding needed for our threatened species recovery, we have the government’s own logging company, VicForests, threatening even more of the forest habitat that our biodiversity relies on to stay alive. This also puts into question the treaty negotiations with Victoria’s First Peoples because this is happening without their consent on their country. To add even more insult to injury, the Victorian Labor government has announced new laws that will slap forest defenders with draconian fines and jail terms for trying to save our environment. Worse, these peaceful protesters are defending areas of forest where courts have found VicForests to be illegally logging. It is clear that the Labor government wants to remove this obstacle to VicForests rather than stand up for our environment. I urge the government to withdraw their anti-protest bill. This World Environment Day I thank the mighty work of our fierce environmental warriors fighting to save our forests, our ecosystems and our planet from destruction.