Julie Samson, Spring Hill
I’m very disappointed with your front page coverage of the debate regarding VEAC’s proposed changes to the status of the Wombat State Forest. A huge photo and quotes from a VEAC spokesperson arguing for a National Park and an event that attracted 60 participants, compared with a tiny photo and three paragraphs to cover the peaceful, well-conducted and informative protest against a National Park which occurred in Gisborne on Saturday November 10 and attracted over 1000 participants.
The Gisborne protest was organised by BUGU (Bush Users Groups United) and heard speakers from forestry experts, horse-riders, four wheel drivers, dog-walkers, trail-bike riders, prospectors and firewood collectors, all of whom are against the proposed changes.
They wish to continue their use of the Wombat State Forest and believe that the forest will deteriorate if they are pushed into using the 10,000 hectares of Regional Park and locked out of the 50,000 hectares of National Park, which is what the VEAC proposal would do.
Living in Spring Hill (which under the proposal would become a National Park) I’m very concerned about the fuel build-up and increased bushfire danger if the controlled burn-offs and firewood collection that the State Forest managers allow now are discontinued.