Stop logging Melbourne water catchments

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Revision as of 14:24, 26 July 2008

Logging in Armstrong Creek catchment, visible from Reefton Spur Rd
Logging in Armstrong Creek catchment, visible from Reefton Spur Rd
Sign stating Armstrong Creek catchment is protected
Sign stating Armstrong Creek catchment is protected

Logging is still allowed in some of Melbourne's water catchments. This logging has been scientifically proven to reduce the quality and quantity of water from the catchments. Melbourne’s water supply comes from uninhabited Mountain Ash (Eucalytpus regnans) forests in the Yarra Ranges. Approximately 157,000 hectares of forest has been protected for harvesting water and these reserves are managed by Melbourne Water, Parks Victoria and Department of Sustainability and Environment.

Around 12% of the total catchment is available for logging and 340 hectares can be harvested each year. Currently clear felling occurs in five of the water catchments:

  • Thomson
  • Starvation Creek
  • McMahons Creek
  • Armstrong Catchment
  • Cement Creek.

These catchments supply approximately 40% of Melbourne’s water supply.


Council motions to stop logging in catchments

The City of < City name > does not support logging in Melbourne water catchments.

Council recognises that:

  1. Logging has a dramatic and detrimental effect on water quality and yield in catchments.
  2. Young re-growth trees need more water to grow thus releasing less water into catchments.
  3. Logging reduces stream flow and yields to water catchments.
  4. It takes 150 years for water yields to return to their pre logged status.
  5. It is poor water policy to continue to log our water catchments.
  6. Logging of water catchments adversely affects water quality through increasing sediment as does road construction through logging coupes.

We urge the Victorian State government to consider a policy of no logging in water catchments.

Boroondara Council motion

Boroondara council supported the following motion on 23 June 2008. Councillor Dick Menting of Maling Ward was the only one who voted against the motion.

"That Council write to the Minister for Environment and Climate Change, the Hon. Gavin Jennings MLC, advising of Council’s opposition to continued logging in native forests within Melbourne’s water supply catchments."

Councils who have opposed logging in Melbourne's water catchments

  • Yarra Ranges
  • Bayside City
  • Moreland City
  • City of Port Phillip
  • Whitehorse City
  • Knox City
  • Yarra City
  • City of Kingston
  • Melbourne City
  • Maroondah City
  • City of Boroondara
  • Nillumbik

These councils collectively represent more than 1.3 million residents.

The politics of allowing logging in Melbourne catchments

In 1999, John Brumby, then leader of the Labor opposition, stated clearly that logging in water catchments and native forests should cease. Now as Premier of the Labor government in Victoria elected in 2006, John Brumby is happy for this logging to continue. Despite the majority of Melbourne residents wanting this logging to stop, it appears that some union interests (such as the CFMEU) and industry interests (such as Paperlynx in the Latrobe Valley), are the reasons that the government won't take action to stop it.

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