Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture Richard Colbeck hopes the newly formed advisory council will be able to 'mitigate' the impact of National Parks.TYLA HARRINGTON March 14, 2014 4:33am
Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture Richard Colbeck believes local National Parks need to be better managed.
Mr Colbeck told the Pastoral Times on Wednesday he is hopeful a newly announced advisory council formed to support the timber industry will be able to ‘‘mitigate’’ the impact of National Parks.
He joined Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Tuesday last week in addressing about 600 Forest Products Association members in Canberra and used the local area as an example of ‘‘thinning trials not working’’.
At the Canberra dinner, Mr Abbott made a commitment to set up the advisory council, saying there were too many ‘‘locked up forests’’.
Mr Colbeck and Mr Abbott both met Mathoura man and timber worker Chris Crump on Tuesday, who highlighted the destruction of the industry in Mathoura, Deniliquin and Barham because of the National Parks conversion in 2010.
Mr Colbeck said the advisory council was being ‘‘finalised’’ and close to being established.
‘‘I’ve given him (Mr Abbott) some advice in regard to the advisory council,’’ he said.
‘‘I want to look at how we can have a strong focus on the industry in Australia looking into the future.
‘‘We’re pretty close to establishing the advisory council .
After visiting the local area six months before the conversion of state forests to National Parks in 2010, Mr Colbeck said he couldn’t understand why the forest would be converted from a ‘‘community asset to a community liability’’.
Mr Colbeck says loggers need to be able to access the forest, which he now refers to as a ‘‘fire trap’’.
Local timber industry workers believe forests should be ‘thinned out’ to prevent ‘over-strangulation’ of trees and to help prevent bushfires.
‘‘In that area of 400ha of Riverina red gum we are now spending more taxpayers’ money to have that area thinned,’’ Mr Colbeck said.
‘‘That’s costing $3750 a hectare. Had we placed a management plan over that region and allowed the industry to continue sensibly managing it and creating a community benefit, as they were before.
‘‘The timber that’s coming off through that ecological thinning would reap $5000 per hectare and a profit of $1250 a hectare which could have gone back into managing the rest of that area to maintain its environmental values.
‘‘And yet here we are restricting what we can do in that region and continuing to put taxpayer dollars in where we could be getting an environmental benefit, we could be getting a community benefit and we could be getting an industry benefit. But we’re doing none of that.’’
However, Mr Colbeck said the solution ‘‘is not just a matter of sending loggers back into the forest .
‘‘People can’t have a narrow perspective that we can’t go in there at all .
‘‘I saw that forest prior to being converted to National Parks and it really didn’t make sense to me (why they would change it).
‘‘Now, as I understand it .
Although Mr Colbeck said the current National Parks system is simply not working, he admitted that reversng a National Parks decision was ‘‘not a common occurrence’’.
Fire pods offer firefighters the chance to tackle realistic situations.
The Yarrawonga Mulwala Cricket Club has hosted the first ever ACA Masters contest at the Stan Hargreaves Oval in Yarrawonga.
There was a good turnout for Wednesday’s Remembrance Day service in Tatura, which saw a number of wreaths laid at the War Memorial, and the presentation to Brad Corken, of the Tatura RSL Spirit Award 2015, by president Robert Mathieson.
ECHUCA has a new crossfit gym.
A GROUP of Rochester Secondary College students visited Bendigo last week to donate blood for the first time.
Bowls Club hosts 49th Victorian Country Masters Pairs
The Oriential Weatherloach has infested the Goulburn River.
The largest ever Strawberry Fields crowd turned out to enjoy the event on the Murray River at Tocumwal at the weekend.
AFTER the hottest October in Victoria since records began in the 1850s, it will come as little surprise that rainfall across the district was unusually low.
The lead up to the Christmas period has seen a group Moira Foodshare volunteers providing necessary food for those in need, one box at a time.
‘Peppinella’ development bigger than first planned
Seven bridges along the Goulburn Valley Highway will be strengthened to allow larger, high productivity vehicles to use them.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.