Dse Refuses Independent Ecological Audit

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6th November 2009, 08:00am - Views: 555






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Media Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

DSE REFUSES INDEPENDENT ECOLOGICAL AUDIT  


Calls for an independent ecological audit into the disastrous 2008 Browns Camp burn in the

Barmah

forest following the release of a report yesterday on the burn by University of

Melbourne professor Peter Attiwill were refused by Department of Sustainability and

Environment Land and Fire Manager Peter Farrell.



After acknowledging on ABC radio the burn had destroyed some habitat trees for the

nationally vulnerable superb parrot, Mr Farrell was asked to agree to an independent audit of

the burn site to confirm Rivers and Red Gum Environment Alliance claims that up to 80 red

gum trees had been killed in the burn. 


Professor Attiwill’s reports confirmed research carried out for

Parks Victoria by Professor

David Kemp that there were environmental benefits from controlled seasonal grazing. 

Departmental officers also privately agreed with this assessment as shown in Freedom of

Information documents obtained by the Alliance.


There

is no evidence these views were put to the Minister for the Environment prior to his

decision to ban cattle grazing in the forest.


Deputy Leader for the Nationals, Peter Walsh and member for Rodney, Paul Weller were at

Browns Camp to launch the report at the site of the contentious burn.


Standing in a sea of head-high scotch thistles and Paterson’s Curse and pointing to a nearby

400 year old red gum tree that was destroyed by the burn, Mr Walsh said if the burn site was

an example  of park management, the community had nothing to look forward to in the area

being declared a national park.


“There are no environmental benefits at Browns Camp from the current management” said Mr

Walsh.  “We will use this report to inform the debate on new red gum national parks in

parliament next week.”


“The Brumby government should plan to use controlled seasonal cattle grazing as the most

effective fuel reduction tool available for the Barmah forest”.



-

ENDS -

Media Contact: Max Rheese 0428 621320.        info@rrgea.org



The Rivers & Red Gum Environment Alliance is a not-for-profit community and user group

based environment organisation having no political affiliation.  A viable solution to the land and

water management challenges facing the red gum forests along the Murray River and its

major tributaries is paramount for the environment as well as the communities along the


November 6th 2009 






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