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Illegal protestors block traditional owners in Wombat forest

Pic: Victorian National Parks Association

Illegal green activists were showing no respect for the traditional owners of the Wombat State Forest, blockading planned salvage harvesting needed to restore country. The Dja Dja Wurrung have commissioned VicForests to undertake extensive surveys and arrange salvage harvesting of wind-blown timber. Source: Timberbiz

The wind-blown timber with sawlog value has been still laying on the ground since storms flattened thousands of tonnes of mixed species last June.

Speaking in state parliament yesterday, the Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region and Shadow Assistant Minister for Public Land Use, Melina Bath, said illegal protestors were blocking salvage harvesting and she called on the State Government to act.

“For three weeks salvage harvesting commissioned by traditional owners has been at a standstill with 20 protestors blockading the site on rotation,” she said.

“The Dja Dja Wurrung in partnership with timber harvesters are restoring country but green protestors who think they know better than traditional custodians are obstructing progress.

“This salvage operation commissioned to regenerate the land by removing fuel load, reducing fire risk and recover valuable sawlogs for milling is under threat, and the Andrews Government is failing to act,” Ms Bath said.

“This operation should be a win for traditional owners, the environment and contractors, but Daniel Andrews is continuing to pander to illegal protestors and shaft timber workers.

“Enabling constant harassment of law-abiding timber harvesters is a hallmark of this appalling Andrews Labor Government.”

Ms Bath has demanded the State Government stop disrespecting traditional owners and end the illegal green lawfare.

“There is a formal partnership between the traditional owners and VicForests to salvage the timber and restore country,” she said.

“This Wombat Forest site has undergone extensive environment auditing and planning to allow salvage log harvesting to occur, and protestors are barking up the wrong tree.

“It’s imperative wood is removed quickly before it deteriorates and is no longer suitable for sawlog.

“Labor’s failure to act and remove protestors is further evidence that Daniel Andrews is hell bent on destroying the native timber industry, only The Nationals in government will save the native timber industry in Victoria

“These illegal protestors must be evicted and charged, so that the Dja Dja Wurrung can continue their important work to restore in the Wombat State Forest.”