At the time of our last update on December 7, over 100,000 ha of new red gum national parks in NSW had just been announced... and then put back into doubt, all within a matter of days.
7th December 2009
Last Thursday, in his last hours as NSW Premier, Nathan Rees made an historic announcement - after a year of controversy over illegal logging, the NSW government would protect the state's globally significant Red Gum wetlands. A National Park would be created at Millewa Forest, along with new reserves along the major rivers in south-western NSW.
This is a magnificent environmental outcome.Â It protects globally significant wetlands and threatened species that are facing severe long-term threats to their survival.
However, there is now massive pressure being brought to bear on the new Premier, Kristina Keneally, to reverse the decision.Â This would be a disaster. ABC News and the Sydney Morning Herald have reported that the parks are in doubt, and rumours abound that anti-conservation forces within the ALP are lobbying against the parks. It is crucial that the whole of Cabinet receive a flood of emails this week urging the Red Gum decision be implemented.
This is the most important moment in the NSW Red Gum campaign.Â We urgently need your help to lock-in this historic reserve outcome.
Please take action by doing any or all of the following:
1. Email the Premier and Cabinet Ministers - click here to use send an email from the National Parks Association website in just two minutes
2. Phone the Premier's office on 02 9228 5239. Below are some suggestions on points to make.
3. Encourage your friends, family and networks to take action by using the "share" button on the right to send this page to them.
Five months ago Friends of the Earth joined the Yorta Yorta people and Red Gum Forest Action in a protest that stopped logging in the Millewa State Forest for ten days. We took this step as a last resort after the NSW and Commonwealth governments refused to stop the logging despite clear evidence it was illegal.
Legislation passed by the Victorian Parliament last night created almost 100,000 hectares of new River Red Gum National Parks from Lake Hume to the South Australian border. And in a state first, the legislation created a framework for the parks - or indeed any public land - to be co-managed with Traditional Owners.
The NSW Natural Resources Commission (NRC) has delivered a flawed Preliminary Report into NSW red gum forests. It is now urgent that the community respond with submissions calling for Jointly Managed National Parks and an end to logging.
More than a year after the Victorian Government declared the beginning of a new era for our River Red Gum forests through the creation of new national parks the NSW Government is finally catching up.
19th June 2009
Yorta Yorta people organised another protest against illegal logging in the Millewa Forest today. Exercising their inherent rights to Country, Yorta Yorta Traditional Owners led a "community walk-in" to the site of the recently ended logging blockade. Logging was halted for several hours while Yorta Yorta people and supporters held a picnic just outside the coupe.
11th June 2009
Yesterday police and forestry officers forced protesters out of the Millewa Forest where they had stopped an illegal logging operation for ten days. Despite the peaceful nature of the protest and the small number of protesters about fifty police were deployed in the operation. Three people were arrested.
Although happy to use the heavy hand of the law to break up a democratic protest, the NSW government continued to flout their own environmental legislation, sending the loggers back in immediately, in contravention of both the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act (1979) and the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999).
The situation remains unresolved. For information on forest protests, contact the Friends of the Earth office on (03) 9419 8700.
This morning over twenty people from Yorta Yorta Nation, Red Gum Forest Action and Friends of the Earth peacefully stopped an illegal logging operation in the Millewa red gum wetlands on the Murray River in NSW.
One protestor is in a "tree-sit," a platform suspended high in the forest canopy from cables attached to logging machinery.
30th December 2008
Today, Victorian Premier John Brumby made history by committing to protect 95,000ha of Murray River Red Gum forests, and create the stateâ€™s first co-managed National Parks.
The Brumby government has taken the courageous step to implement the majority of recommendations from the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council River Red Gum Investigation, including:
- Four new national parks at Barmah, Gunbower, the Lower Goulburn and the Ovens Rivers
- Significant additions to the Murray-Sunset National Park and Terrick-Terrick National Parks.
- A total of over 95,000ha of new protected areas (regional, state and national parks)
- A new Murray River Park covering more than 1000 km of the Murray River frontage from Wodonga to Mildura
- Co-management Barmah and Nyah parks with the Traditional Owners
- Creation of statewide legislation to allow future joint management of other parks
- Removal of stock grazing from all publicly owned water frontages along the Murray and major tributaries
We applaud the decision as one of the most significant conservation commitments ever made in Victoria. Click here to read our media release