No action on 15,500-strong petition

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The State Government has closed a petition signed by more than 15,500 people without carrying out their requests.

Greens (WA) forestry spokesperson Diane Evers has expressed disappointment at the decision by the Environment and Public Affairs Committee to finalise its review of the petition calling for the immediate protection of high conservation value (HCV) forests.

Tabled by Ms Evers in March, the petition asked the State Government to honour its pre-election promise to safeguard HCV forests and transition the timber industry out of native forest logging.

The petition was one of the largest 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.

Chairman of the Standing Committee on Environment and Public Affairs, Matthew Swinbourn, said the Forest Management Plan (FMP) currently in place (2013-2023) already took into account the high conservation value attributes of South West forests.

He also cited claims by Forestry Minister Dave Kelly that there was a lack of solutions to enable a transition from native forest to plantation logging, and that broader issues included the impact on forest health through lack of management, and the loss of State income.

Ms Evers said the Greens were undaunted and would continue to press for an end to the destruction of the forests.

“Current logging practices are wrong, both ecologically and economically. Logging native forests is a regressive and financially irresponsible course for the government to pursue,” she said.

She said she looked forward to the findings of the draft mid-term review of the FMP, due in August.

The recommendations of the review, which audits the FMP key performance indicators, will be made available for public comment for six weeks once released.



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