Pressure on candidates

‘IT’S JUST WRONG’: Former sawmillers Ron Jones (left) and Neil Walker both want to see controlled and selective logging take place in the Strathbogie forests. The men worked in the forests for about 30 years. PHOTO: Anthony Cini

A STRATHBOGIE community forestry group is placing pressure on all candidates for the seat of Euroa ahead of the state election next week to gain support for an independent inquiry into the future of the remaining Strathbogie forests.

The Strathbogie Sustainable Forest Group has asked the six candidates to make a clear statement about whether they and their parties will support the inquiry.

This comes after the group was angered recently by what it saw as an arrogant and dismissive response from National Party Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh, despite previously having a good relationship with Nationals candidate Steph Ryan.

The minister was asked by the group to improve forest management in response to broad community concerns but has since “dismissed logging concerns”.

Members of the community were particularly concerned that state logging agency VicForests had reportedly failed to properly regenerate areas harvested over the past 10 years.

Candidates have also been asked if they would support a moratorium on logging in the forest until an inquiry has been completed.

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