Bushwalking Victoria calls for logging to be suspended in all native forests until a full and proper assessment of the impact of the bushfires is completed, including loss of habitat and impact on biodiversity of flora and fauna.
Very large areas of forests have been burnt and large number of native animals killed. This has had major impacts on native plants and animals, including threatened species and their habitat.
Logging of significant old growth native forest is proceeding in the Kalatha Valley and elsewhere near Toolangi and Warburton in the Central Highlands close to Melbourne. These remaining forests are popular with bushwalkers, locals and tourists and they provide habitat vital for several threatened species including Leadbeaters possum, the Spot-tailed quoll and the Powerful owl.
Scientists including Professor David Lindenmayer and Dr Chris Taylor have also advised their research demonstrates that logging makes native forests more prone to fire. The safety of local communities and bushwalkers visiting forests must take precedence over commercial logging.
The salvage logging that is proceeding in some fire-affected forests in Gippsland will compromise the recovery of these forests and is destroying the remaining habitat of native animals that survived the bushfires. This must also be halted.
All logging in native forests should be suspended until rigorous and thorough scientific studies assessing the impact of the catastrophic 2019-20 bushfires in Victoria are completed.
Peter Campbell, Enviroment Spokesperson, Bushwalking Victoria