Marcus Ward, Pastoria
As the Wombat Forest inches towards a new future as a national park, predictably a cranky few continue to demand access for mining and logging and argue, bizarrely, that a national park will threaten the Wombat’s environmental values.
The damage done by woodchipping during the 80s and 90s has been catastrophic. The long march of repair began when the Bracks Labor government pulled the plug on wood chipping and logging over a decade ago after pitched battle waged by local environment groups.
When a Morgan poll revealed 83 per cent of residents around the Wombat wanted an end to logging and woodchipping, the myth of sustainable logging in the Wombat had finally been put to rest.
Bracks promised an independent review to determine the best ongoing use. The Andrews Government finally honoured that promise some 15+ years later.
After a thorough review, the umpire has determined that the best long-term use, for the maximum benefit of all, is to create a new national park centred on the Wombat Forest.
Suggestions from a cranky few that management as a national park will threaten environmental values is a feeble attempt to conflate the science and nothing more than bare-faced, self-serving nonsense.
Continued mining and a return of the chainsaws and bulldozers is not the way to repair over a century of environmental abuse.
The fight for the Wombat has been a bitter one. The wounds are healing, the forest is recovering.
Still, until the Wombat is gazetted a national park the final chapter is still not written. One last push is required.