DEA has made a submission on the Victorian Government’s review of its Regional Forestry Agreements (RFA). RFA’s are agreements between State and Federal governments which enable logging to occur without the oversight of national environmental protections. They were written some 20 years ago and the 5 agreements which cover Victoria are in the process of expiring.
Since they were composed a lot has changed- climate change has accelerated and we are in the midst of an extinction crisis. All of Victoria’s old growth and native forests are under extreme stress from bushfires and unsustainable logging practices. Given the benefits forests provide for human health DEA believes the RFAs should be allowed to expire and a just transition occur for those who work in the logging industry. Just as renewable energy provides many more jobs than the fossil fuel industry, so too does the protection of forests and woodlands. New jobs in eco-tourism, recreation, health and education provision are waiting for the right signals from government and a switch from the model of extraction to the model of restoration, protection and celebration of forests.