Hundreds of trainees, including from the State Emergency Service, Victoria Police and Forest Fire Management Victoria have been shut out of a timber coupe in East Gippsland in a bid to protect the Yellow-bellied glider. The irony is that Tiger Coupe at Nowa Nowa was not even intended for timber harvesting. VicForests, who manages this coupe, had handed it to TAFE Gippsland to be used for forestry fire training. Programs are run to prepare trainees for bushfires, storms and floods.
“Having a trained firefighting workforce is critical to defending our towns, built infrastructure, farms, livestock, our forests and wildlife against devastating impacts of bushfires,” said Ms Kerr, CEO of VFPA.
“The memory of the devastating Black Summer fires in 2019-20 remains very vivid for many Victorians who are likely to be speechless over the outcome of this court case and the audacity of environmentalists when this coupe was not even being harvested.”
As VicForests now scrambles to provide a suitable alternative coupe, this decision shows the disappointing extent that environmentalists will go to put the environment above all else,” concluded Ms Kerr.