Garbutt Press Release
FROM THE MINISTER FOR ENVIRONMENT AND CONSERVATION
DATE: Thursday, January 25, 2001
NEW OTWAY REFERENCE GROUP TO CONSIDER SABINE FALLS
The Minister for Environment and Conservation, Ms Sherryl Garbutt, today announced the formation of a Regional Forest Reference Group for the Otways.
"The Otways group will ensure that the consideration of forest issues is open and accountable and that stakeholders have the opportunity to actively participate in decisions for sustainable forest management," Ms Garbutt said.
"One of the first tasks for the Group will be to consider the issue of timber harvesting in the vicinity of Sabine Falls and the future development of this area for tourism, including the development of walking tracks."
"Immediate plans for harvesting in this area are on hold pending consideration of the issue by the group in the context of the Regional Forest Agreement established last year."
As part of the Government's commitment to proper scrutiny in forest management, Ms Garbutt initiated the formation of Regional Forest Reference groups last year.
Expressions of interest for membership of the Otways Regional Forest Reference Group were called for in August last year through advertisements in regional press and a mail out to community and forest industry organisations.
The group has been established to provide:
· a forum for raising forest management issues;
· an exchange of views between stakeholders; and,
· advice on issues associated with the implementation of the Regional Forest Agreement and other forest management issues.
The Reference Group consists of 15 members and a chairperson.
"The members of the group are from a wide cross section of the community, including environmental groups, Universities, Indigenous groups, local government, timber industry and tourism industry, the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority and Barwon Water," Ms Garbutt said.
The Chair of the Group, Dr Martin Westbrook, is Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Ballarat.
"Dr Westbrook has extensive experience in the field of ecological management and has participated on a range of management and advisory committees relating to ecological management across Victoria," Ms Garbutt said.
"This is both a tremendous opportunity and challenge for the community to come together and support the resolution of complex forest management issues. I look forward to the Reference Group members working constructively together to provide sound forest management advice which has broad community support," Ms Garbutt said.
Otway Regional Forest Reference Group - membership
Mr Martin Westbrook Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Ballarat
Sally Anne Brown Apollo Bay
Simon Birrell Ascot Vale
Gillian Blair Warrnambool
Greg Hocking Wye River
Allan Browning North Geelong
Anne Wallis Warrnambool
Graeme Saddington Geelong
Robert Missen Colac
Robert Hutchinson Colac
Ken McCallum Torquay
Stuart Toplis Geelong
Malcolm McDougall Jan Juc
Michael Murnane Colac
David Colless Colac
Steve Roffey Geelong
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