Chaos over fallen trees in Wombat State Forest continues
Earlier this week, the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation, trading as DJAARA, announced its partnership with VicForests to restore Country in the Wombat Forest following the June 2021 storms. This agreement is managing Country as the Dja Dja Wurrung people have done for millennia, Deb Kerr, CEO of the Victorian Forest Products Association (VFPA) Deb Kerr said today.
Picking up timber already on the ground that poses a fire risk will reduce the fuel load, which is substantial and has been worrying the local community who have called for its removal since last June. The last major fire in the region was the Ash Wednesday fire of 1983, where 47 people lost their lives. The current fuel load is a major disaster waiting to happen.
“Just when it seemed that common sense has finally prevailed, calls from e-NGOs such as the Victorian National Parks Association try to stop this recovery operation. They seem to think they know better than the traditional owners of Country – and this is just disrespectful and offensive”, Ms Kerr commented.
“We support the removal of fallen timber in Wombat. The alternative is accepting the risk of another Ash Wednesday. We also strongly support the efforts of the Dja Dja Wurrung people to manage their land, including Wombat State Forest, as they have done for tens of thousands of years”, Ms Kerr continued.
“It’s amazing what we can achieve when common sense prevails, and when we form new partnerships that respect the experience of traditional owners and expertise of forest workers. It’s frightening what can go wrong if we leave it to ideological activists – but they clearly don’t let the need to protect our community get in the way of pursuing their self-entitled agenda,” Ms Kerr concluded.