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A government devoid of morals - by Jill Redwood

AS I WRITE, the bulldozers and chainsaws are brutalising another superb stand of ancient forest not far from where I am just out of Orbost, south-eastern Victoria. (This article is an extract from one on the ABC. See inside for link.)

Chainsaws and bulldozers are operating in Orbost, eastern Victoria, and trees have stood for 600 years, sheltering and feeding generations of greater gliders and powerful owls and other species, and being logged.

The lush understorey of ferns and blanket leaf have kept delicate lichens and mosses damp and cool in the hottest summers over the millennia. Liquid eyed marsupials will be huddling terrified in their hollows as these giants crash and splinter in a sickening thud that shakes the earth and shocks the heart. After this brutality, the remaining vegetation is deliberately incinerated with a ring of intensely hot fire. Nothing escapes. It's all part of the 'sustainable forest management' lie that our governments feed us, hoping to hide the reality with a curtain of pleasing language.

Australia's forests have many native wildlife and plant species are teetering on the edge of extinction, but the assistance offered is little more than recognition and shallow sympathy, laced with lip service and PR spin. East Gippsland is a prime example of this situation. It has been described by Professor David Bellamy as "the most diverse area of temperate forest I know of on Earth".

For more detail see the original article A government devoid of morals: Jill Redwood

Why, in a developed country should small regional volunteer groups, Environment East Gippsland, which run on a meagre budget, be forced to take on the behemoth monster that is the government? The government and its logging agency VicForests agreed to abide by their own laws after being forced to the steps of the Supreme Court.

As a result of EEG's legal challenge, the beautiful glossy black cockatoo finally had a draft action statement drawn up last month after waiting 18 years on the threatened species list. But Minister Walsh's staff have found a loophole — they now learn that although the plan itself is a legal obligation, it doesn't need to have concrete protection measures.

There's no obligation, or guarantee, for the survival of our native animals. Governments "may" make recovery and protection plans, but it's not mandatory. It's all a facade, and political spin.

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The only way that Australians can cope with this terrible vandalism, cruelty and complete disregard for arguably the most beautiful and majestic bio region of Victoria is by being unaware of it. Most Victorians live in Melbourne, a place now devoid of nature in original condition. This arrangement is really convenient because the population is corralled into one region and most of them are there most of the time. Despite these urban dwellers' daily deprivation of a natural environment I think even the most tuned out to nature and plugged into "I Tunes" person in Melbourne would cry if they directly experienced the devastation of our forests and wild life. Some of these city dwellers will read about this but inevitably more pressing city centred matters will override their brief concern. Perhaps the urban spiritual anesthetic blocking out the pain of our lost environment is merciful.