Saving Forests, Ditching Gas

Wednesday, September 28, 2022 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Location: Marwal Centre, 9 Marwal Avenue, Balwyn Nth, 3104

Protecting our Mountain Ash forests, precious biodiversity and water catchments are seen as a very important issues in the upcoming Victorian State election. Moving away from fossil gas is also another key election issue. Gas use in our households harms are health - gas cooking is responsible for 12% of childhood asthma, but gas in our homes also impact our respiratory, cardiac and nervous systems.

Not only is our Mountain Ash the most carbon dense forest type in the world, protection could be worth $70m annually and 750 local jobs in ecotourism, for instance through the creation of a Great Forest National Park. With the release of the Victorian Gas Substitution Roadmap, Victoria has signalled a shift away from gas. Soon there will be no more mandatory gas connections. However there is no clear timetable for moving away from our leaky gas distribution network towards cheaper, safer and cleaner electric homes. Victoria is now supporting the resumptional conventional on shore drilling, including very close to the Twelve Apostles.

Why is the Victorian government hiding behind a contract with Nippon Paper, reducing forest protections and attempting to criminalise peaceful forest defence? In the last annual report Vic Forests are running at a loss despite being given a $21 million subsidy by Victorian taxpayers. The ALP have announced that native forest logging would cease in 2030 (the year the Nippon Paper LSA runs out), but our forest can’t wait till 2030.

Continued logging puts key species like Leadbeater’s Possum and the Southern Greater Glider at risk. Due to increasing bushfires and logging, the old growth forest with numerous tree hollows that are critical for the conservation of Leadbeater’s Possum and the Southern Greater Glider is down to 1% of the area in forests like those dominated by Mountain Ash. The vast majority of logged timber is pulped for paper production and box liners. Logged forests are also at greatly increased risk of high severity bushfires.

Join us on August 28th, 7 for 7.30-9pm at the Marwal Centre, 9 Marwal Avenue, Balwyn North to hear more about these key issues for voters in our upcoming Victorian State election and learn more about how we can campaign for a faster transition away from gas, and better protection for forests.

For further information please contact Mick Nolan on mick23nolan@gmail.com.