Specialising in the human experience of Living with prostate cancer – warts and all

Alliance to fight Murray national parks plan

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An alliance of Murray River forest users has been formed to fight a recommendation to turn the forests into national parks.

The Victorian Environmental Assessment Council says river red gum forests are suffering from a severe lack of water and need protection from logging and stock grazing.

But the new alliance of farmers, shooting and timber groups, and fire brigades are protesting against the plan.

… extract from ABC Online article

The Investigation includes public land from Lake Hume to the South Australian border and includes the lower reaches of the Avoca, Loddon, Campaspe, Goulburn, King, Ovens and Kiewa Rivers.

Under this proposal 9925 hectares of State parks will be lost to National parks. The total area of National parks will increase threefold from 52,120 to 151,761 hectares.

On ABC radio today, it was suggested that the proposal will allow up to 50 tonnes of light fire fuel per hectare. This is far beyond the capabilities of the CFA to fight fires safely and I can understand why fire brigades are protesting.

DSE firefighters do not assist CFA brigades fighting fires on freehold property. They only become involved when the fire enters public land. Yet, they expect CFA volunteers to assist them on public land. If the Alliance of forest users campaigned CFA volunteers to refuse to fight fires on public land, the state government might take a lot more notice of the protesters.

You can hear more about the river red gum forest draft plan at a series of forums to be held throughout the region. Watch for the one to be held in Wangaratta next week.

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Written by Greg Naylor

6 August 2007 at 10:03 pm

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