Letter to the Editor: The Age, 6th October 2007
More National Parks not the Answer
MATT Ruchel from the Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA) does not articulate the main issue of concern to local communities in his article "Red gums are not just a green issue" (BusinessDay, 5/10), which is the VNPA campaign to create more national parks from accessible state forest.
Most people are not opposed to sensible proposals for increased environmental flows along the Murray River — if there was some prospect of the water being available — but are very concerned at the proposed 300 per cent increase in national parks.
Mr Brumby recognises that the draft proposals are not sensible and has informed the community of his Government's intentions, to dispel concerns.
All people who use the red gum forests and the Murray River agree that many areas are stressed by 10 years of drought.
The fix for that is rain, not changing the land status to national parks.
The Government has a long way to go to regain people's confidence in public land management. Everyone agrees that public land could be better managed, but creating national parks is not the default action to achieve that.
Australian Environment Foundation