Hundreds rally for forest petition

A crowd of more than 200 people converged on Parliament House today to hand over a petition asking the state government to honour its pre-election promise to protect high conservation value (HCV) forests and transition the timber industry out of native forest logging.

Greens Forests spokesperson Diane Evers MLC, who on Thursday will table the petition signed by more than 15,500 people, told the crowd protection of high conservation value forests was crucial.

“We need to stop this slaughter of our forests; it’s the wrong thing to be doing both ecologically and economically. Logging native forests is a regressive and financially irresponsible course for the government to pursue,” she said.

“The community has spoken loud and clear today – they want their forests protected immediately, and the timber industry transitioned to a sustainable model.

“South-West communities see their futures to be in tourism, including forest-based nature tourism and agriculture.”

The petition is one of the biggest to be tabled in the WA parliament this century, with 5000 more signatories than the petition calling for a referendum on Daylight Saving in 2007.

“To have more than 15, 500 people sign this petition is a clear indication of the strong feelings the community has about the government honouring their promise to safeguard our high conservation value forests rather than turn them into low-value wood products,” Ms Evers said.

“I urge the McGowan Government to listen to the community and enact the promises it made in the run up to last year’s election to immediately protect more than 100 forests across the South-West of the State classed High Conservation Value.”

Fact File

  • High Conservation Value forests are those deemed to contain or provide habitat for threatened plants and animals, and they may also provide protection of important water ways; wildlife corridors or Indigenous or European heritage values.
  • The former Gallop Labor Government extensively reviewed more than 100 High Conservation Value forests between Perth and the South Coast in 2002 and then was supposed to move to protect them.
  • But many of these forests, which include recognised pockets of old growth, are still not part of the conservation estate, and worse, many are proposed to be logged this year or within the next three years.