Otway Ranges Environment Network



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2006 and 2002 Victorian State elections:
Liberals support Otway logging?

Updated Friday 1st December 2006.

2006 Election

During the 2006 Victorian State Election OREN became concerned the Liberal Partry Forest Policy would support clearfell logging in the Otways as there was a committment within the policy to legislate the West Regional Forest Agreement.

What also alarmed OREN was the fact the Liberals Forest Policy which was relased on Saturday 18th November, was not on the official Liberal Party web site for the public to see. (See OREN press release below)

The Liberal Party Forestry policy for the 2006 election is here. (word).

The 2000 West RFA agreement is here.(pdf)

The Victorian Premier formally announced the West Regional Forest Agreement, (West RFA) was cancelled in November 2002.

OREN was concered as Liberals found it hard to support legislation to create the Great Otway National Park. See more.

Below is a press release released by OREN and a responce press release released by the Liberal shadow forest minister David Koch the next day.

This short media campaign by OREN (covered by all media outlets in south west Victoria) prompted the Liberal Party to put their forest policy onto the Victorian Liberal website at 10:13am on Tuesday 21st November, four days after is was launched. The Liberals also issued a public statement supporting a ban on logging in the Otways (see below).

OREN Press Release

Tuesday, 21 November 2006

Today conservationists from the Otway Ranges Environment Network(OREN) have condemned the Liberal Party for trying to sneak through a forestry policy during the 2006 election campaign which will allow woodchip-driven logging to continue in the Otways until at least the year 2020.

Conservationists are alarmed that the Liberal’s Forestry policy (released on Saturday and not on their website) has a commitment to legislate all five Regional Forest Agreements (RFA) that allow export woodchipping from forested public land across Victoria and include the Otways.

The last dot point on page 8 of the Liberals Forest policy says:

  • Uphold and legislate the core principles as outlined in the five Victorian Regional Forest Agreements.

“The Liberals say they will legislate all five Victorian RFA’s, this includes the West RFA that covers the Otways”, said spokesperson Simon Birrell for the Otway Ranges Environment Network.

“The Liberals are to be condemned for sneaking in a logging policy that is not upfront and honest about their intention to continue clearfell logging the Otways.”

“The Liberals have not even put their Forestry policy on the official Liberal Party website, OREN has put the Liberal Party forest policy on the OREN website for all to see.(www.oren.org.au)”

“A core principle of the West RFA is to allow logging to continue in the Otways until the year 2020 (See West RFA clause 5 on www.oren.org.au). This Liberal Party policy, if implemented, will allow woodchip driven clearfell logging to continue for at least another 14 years in the Otways. The implication of this is that 40,000 ha of Otways native forest, not in the Great Otway National Park, will be destroyed for woodchips.”

“Once the RFA’s are legislated, future State governments will not be able to stop the logging without paying huge compensation to the woodchip industry.”

“The Liberal’s policy is in stark contrast to the ALP policy which is to have all logging banned in the Otways by June 2008 and not legislate the RFA’s. This is what Bracks put to the electorate in the last state election.”

“There are also implications for native forest logging in the rest of Western Victoria, with a legislated West RFA meaning woodchip-driven logging would restart in the Cobboboonee forest near Portland and the Wombat State Forest.”

“It’s a disgraceful and cowardly policy because the Liberals are not being honest about their intentions if they win government this weekend.”

“In 2005 the Liberals voted with the government to create the Great Otway National Park and end Otway logging by 2008. This Forestry Policy undoes this Liberal commitment to not log the Otways.”

Liberals Press Release

Wednesday, 22 November 2006


In her scramble to be re-elected in front of her better positioned union mates for the Upper House at this week’s election, Labor’s Elaine Carbines has misrepresented the Liberal Party’s Forestry Policy as it relates to the core principles of Victorian Regional Forest Agreements.

The Liberal Party, as does the community, accepts that on completion of existing 2008 contracts in the Otways, no further logging will take place in Western Victoria and nor will it be re-introduced.

Unlike the Bracks Government, a Liberal Government will return security to the Victorian timber industry by offering licences as endorsed under the 2002 Our Forests Our Future strategy with long term contract tenure, which will assure no net loss of resource or jobs.

After four years as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment, Elaine Carbines is still not across the core principles as outlined in the in the five Victorian Regional Forest Agreements.

The principles are: protection of conservation and heritage values; sustainable levels of wood supply from public forests as a basis of continuing investment and diversification in the timber industry in the region; access to forests for other uses, including tourism, bee keeping, recreation, forest grazing and mineral exploration; and finally, the ecologically sustainable forest management through accredited management systems and processes.

The principle she attempts to distort relates to forestry in the region, particularly in the Otways. Let me make it clear, logging in the Otways will cease in 2008.

Importantly, the Liberal Party Forestry Policy clearly states that $2.5 million will be provided for an adjustment package for forest workers in recognising that new employment skills may be required following the cessation of timber harvesting in the Otways beyond 2008.

Why would the voting public be supportive of Elaine Carbines, a candidate for Western Victoria Region, when she deliberately attempts to mislead the community on such an important issue?

Media: David Koch, 0418 723 031



Liberal Party 2002 Victorian State election policies

Note: This how to vote card was distributed by OREN during the November 2002 Victorian State Election.

This advertisement was run by OREN in Geelong local newspapers during the November 2002 Victorian State Election campaign.

During the November 2002 election. The official Liberal policy position was to support woodchip driven logging in Otway native forest under the West Regional Forest Agreement until at least the year 2020.

However the Liberal Party's Otway logging policies devastated their own vote during the election. The electoral annihilation of the Liberals occurred particularly in the Geelong region where the Liberal Party lost every upper and low house seat. This includes the previous safe Liberal seat of South Barwon which was lost to the Labor Party with a swing of over 11%. This swing in South Barwon occurred without Greens' party preferences.




More on the Lib's Otway vision
(until September 2005 parliamentary debate)

History of internal division within the Liberal Party over Otway policy

History of challenges to Liberals Otway policy in State Parliament

Liberals falsely claim Otway logging is sustainable

Liberals put up dubious argument that more tropical rainforest timber from overseas will be imported due to the ban on Otway logging. See OREN propaganda directory for response.


Don't know the meaning of a word? Check the glossary.