Otway Ranges Environment Network



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Deterioration of Otway Scenic Quality
Case study: Aire Crossing & the Wait-a While Road

Aire’s Crossing on the Aire River is an area of forest area that has extremely high conservation and tourist values. The Aire River is a heritage river and protected by the Heritage Rivers Act 1988. Aire Crossing, has examples of old growth forest and extensive stands of cool temperate rainforest (Myrtle Beech). Aire’s Crossing is not heavily promoted by Forestry Victoria for fear of tourists gaining a perspective of what the original Otway old growth forest is like. Despite this. many tourists still visit Aire's Crossing because of its beauty.

Access to Aire Crossing is via the Aire Settlement-Wait a While Road. Over the last five years the Wait a While access road to Aire’s Crossing has been devastated by clearfell logging that has cleared up to the edge of the road.

An attempt was made in the Otway Forest Management Plan to give protection scenic forest by zoning some areas of important forest as Landscape Management Zones. See map.

The forest at the intersection of Aire Settlement/Wait a While Road is a Zone A "Visual Quality Objective". This zoning was intended to give the highest protection to the scenic quality of the forest approach to Aire Crossing. Zone A forest should have "inevident alteration". "Alterations should range from being visually inevident to temporarily (for a period of no greater than 12 months) apparent."

Most of the forest on Wait-a-While Road that is zoned 'A' Visual Quality Objective was clearfell logged between 1994 and 1997. The impact of clearfell logging is clearly not "inevident alteration", prescriptions within the Otways Forest Managment Plan have been totally ignored. Beautiful forest that was meant to be protected has been destroyed.

See map showing "Landscape Management Zones"

The intersection of Aire Crossing Track and Wait-a-while Road. The forest that was here was clearfell logged (1993 & 1998), despite the Otway Forset Management Plan prescriptions that the forest should have "inevident alteration".

Beautiful forest on the Aire Crossing Track that is similar the forest that was clearfell logged at the intersection with Wait-a-while Road - see photos above. The government wants to log this forest. The forest on the right is scheduled for logging within the next few years.


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