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Victor Perton Sabine Falls press release

Press Release from the Office of the Shadow Minister for Conservation & Environment, Victor Perton MP

16 July 2001

Liberals Will Reinstate Sabine Falls on State Maps

The Shadow Minister for Conservation and Environment, Victor Perton, has announced that the Liberal Party will reinstate the Sabine Falls on State Maps and encourage tourist maps to feature the falls. This announcement followed the revelations that the Bracks Government had ordered the removal of the Sabine Falls from State maps and asked tourist map producers to remove the falls as a feature.

Mr. Perton also warned the Minister, Mrs. Garbutt, not to order the destruction of the headwaters of the Falls or risk the wrath of all right-thinking Victorians.

Mr. Perton made the commitment while visiting Torquay and Geelong to meet with the Surfcoast Council and several environmental groups on local issues and statewide issues.

Mr Perton lamented out how poorly Labor was managing the state's forests and how it would appear that the forest unions are the ones calling the shots.

"On two occasions last week Minister Garbutt has demonstrated complete incompetence in managing her portfolio. The first was near Poweltown where widening of a road occurred through habitat of the endangered Leadbeater's possum. The second was her decision to remove from maps tourist sites in the
Sabine Falls area", said Mr Perton.

Mr Perton said that it was unfortunate that both decisions by the minister did not seem be in the interests of all Victorians but rather the interests of Forest Unions.

"It would appear that the unions are running the show when it comes to forestry management as examples such as these are occurring too often", said Mr Perton.

"In the case of the Leadbeater's possum this is our State's fauna emblem and it has been reported that the minister has ignored her own departmental regulations in allowing the work to take place", said Mr Perton.

"The claim by the minister that her decision to remove Sabine Falls tourist sites from maps was based on safety fears because facilities had fallen into disrepair is an admission she has lost control and is incompetent. I might remind the minister that her party made a commitment of $179.5m to conservation and recreation in this year's budget", said Mr Perton.

"Local groups have worked hard to maintain the facilities and if Mrs Garbutt allows this area to fall into disrepair, I am committed to rebuilding the facilities.

Mr Perton said that Victoria's environment and its natural resources needed to be managed responsibly and that the interests of all Victorians should be considered.

"It is unfortunate that this state has to tolerate a Minster who continues to demonstrate she is not interested in genuine environmental management as much as she is interested in satisfying the desires of a small section of the community", said Mr Perton.

Victor Perton MP
Victorian Shadow Minister for Conservation and Environment
Victorian Shadow Minister for Multimedia
Phone 9840 1566
Mobile 0418 744448
Fax 9840 1534


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