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The ABC has not learnt its ABCs – more false claims against VicForests

On Thursday 23 May, the ABC aired a segment on Mornings with Debbie Rybicki that VicForests says contained false and misleading claims of damage to the ecosystem, not conducting surveys, and failing to adequately regenerate coupes. Source: Timberbiz

VicForests was not approached to provide a statement. However, VicForests says that it has provided the ABC with multiple statements contradicting such claims over the preceding years.

It has also multiple pages and statements on its website detailing how VicForests met its obligations in protecting threatened species and their habitat and regenerating what was harvested. These are a matter of public record and have been provided to various ABC outlets.

VicForests is a government agency, overseen by an independent board and otherwise subject to the ordinary governance obligations and control of any government body.

In a statement VicForests said that it has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to meeting, and often exceeding, the explicit rules and regulations for environmental management set by Government. This includes demonstrating that it continued to meet its obligations and the required standards for successful regeneration.

VicForests states that it has addressed the false regeneration claims on numerous occasions and you to read them on the VicForests website:

  • Setting the record straight – yet again
  • VicForests response to ABC’s regeneration article
  • Setting the record straight (again)
  • VicForests response to ABC story on regeneration

False claims do harm. This includes the impact on the mental health and wellbeing of people who have dedicated themselves to the management of forests for future generations. Broadcasting false information to the public supports an empty rhetoric; the national broadcaster should encourage constructive dialogue and avoid the peddling of false claims.