On Wednesday, the Victorian Government gazetted the revised Code of Practice for Timber Production (the “Code”). This morning, ABC journalist Michael Slezak posted a story claiming that the revised code provided VicForests with new opportunities to harvest, stating “The change removes a strict ban on logging on steep slopes in those areas” (ABC News Victorian water supply to have less protection against logging after change to laws).
“If Mr Slezak had attempted any semblance of good journalism and compared the wording of the 2014 Code to the revised Code published on Wednesday, he would have seen that the clauses relating to steep slopes were not changed – they are word for word the same”, said Deb Kerr, CEO of the Victorian Forest Products Association (VFPA).
“Just as importantly, the management standards and prescriptions that provide significant rigorous details on how to implement the Code have also remained the same for over a decade.”
“This is shoddy journalism at its best and shows the extreme bias of Mr Slezak towards an entire sector at its worst”, concluded Deb Kerr.