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Activist culture devouring regional communities

By Justin Law, FWCA Managing Director

The past three years have been a challenging battle to highlight the fate of timber communities in the wake of the original 2019 decision to end native forestry in Victoria.

It was a decision which made no scientific sense and not even FoI requests succeeded in getting the Government’s scientific reasoning. Instead it seemed to be a decision based on political expediency, largely driven by the extremely well-funded campaigns by activist organisations, agenda-driven academia and some minority yet well-positioned sectors of the media.

The final straw was the court actions which have crippled the Victorian native sector and given this Victorian Government the excuse it needed to bring forward the decision by six years. That was six years in which there was supposed to be some sort of orderly transition to the fantasy of plantations.

These plantations, which would take 40 years to grow on land which doesn’t exist, would somehow make up the timber supply shortfall and give thousands of regional Victorians hope for the future.

Now that has gone, too.

Everyone has an opinion about native forestry and most are based on the narrative created by the headlines. Words and phrases such as ‘critically endangered’, ‘extinction crisis’, ‘illegal logging’, ‘deforestation’ have all been misleadingly and hysterically linked to forestry.

The real forest scientists who, through thousands of collective years of study and practical experience understand the truth of forestry, have been ignored by the media in favour of activist propaganda. It makes a much better headline and journalists are lazy or under too much pressure in a shrinking industry to find balance.

Even the simple facts that trees grow back or that just 0.04% of the forest is harvested and replanted by law each year or that 94% of the forest estate is not even available for harvesting are never, ever mentioned in all but the most balanced of news outlets.

What about the fact that Greater Gliders and Leadbeaters Possums are thriving in forests regrown after harvesting? Does that not mean that wildlife and forestry can co-exist?

Doesn’t get a sentence anywhere.

So you can be forgiven for thinking native forestry is the root of all environmental evil because that’s all you’ve been allowed to hear.

Those who dare speak out against the agendas of some sectors of academia are served with lawsuits by those who would portray themselves as victims.

Academics who challenge their views are bullied in the media or slandered as industry shills and the appetite to fight for the truth is diminished.

In enlightened countries elsewhere in the world, forestry is celebrated and recognised as a climate solution.

In Australia, forestry is denigrated by an activist culture which generates enormous wealth and political power and grows ever stronger as it devours regional communities.

Where will it end?

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