State Government Processes to Protect Endangered Species from Logging Practices are failing
The role of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act
There are management tools and legislation which the State Government claim protect endangered species from logging practices. These are failing.
For the Otway State Forest these management tools are the West Regional Forest Agreement and the Otway Forest Management Plan. For legislated reserves such as State Parks and National Parks the management tools include Park Management Plans.
These management tools all point to the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act to provide necessary legislated prescriptions to protect endangered species from logging practices.
Victorian Government and Forestry Victoria do not make protection of endangered flora or fauna a high priority when the required protection comes into conflict with commercial logging operations within State Forest.
In the Otways this is best demonstrated by:
Ecologically Sustainable Forest Management (ESFM) is another fancy way for Forestry Victoria to claim they are not damaging the environment with their logging practices when in fact they are.
ESFM came out of the National Forest Policy Statement where its key goals are:
The Failure of ESFM
Section 40 of the West RFA lists key elements of achieving ESFM for which a fully integrated and strategic forest management system capable of responding to new information is a part of the deal.
Under Section 48 of the West RFA (Accreditation) there is a requirement that ESFM comply to the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act. The FFG Act is not being implemented effectively. For example, if it takes 10 years to complete an Action Statement for an endangered species, does that mean the RFA process will still gain accreditation?
ECOLOGICALLY SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT
40. The Parties agree that ESFM is an objective which
requires a long term commitment to continuous improvement and that the
key elements for achieving it in accordance with clause 7 are:
41. The Parties agree that Victorian processes and systems provide for ecologically sustainable management of forests in the West Victoria region and that these processes and systems are accredited in clause 48 of this Agreement.
47. Parties agree that Victoria's Forest Management System (including its legislation, policies, Codes, plans and management practices) as described in the Statewide Assessment of Ecologically Sustainable Forest Management and including responses reported in chapter 16 of the West Victoria Comprehensive Regional Assessment Report provides for continuing improvement in relation to ESFM.
48. The Commonwealth accredits Victoria's Forest
Management System for the West Victoria region as amended by this Agreement.
The system includes:
Don't know the meaning of a word? Check the glossary.