The Andrews Labor Government is improving the management practices of Blue-gum plantations to better protect koalas during harvesting.
It will now be mandatory for Blue-gum plantation management companies in the Green Triangle region, located in far south-west Victoria, whose operations may impact koalas, to apply for authorisation under the Wildlife Act 1975.
Companies will also need to develop a Koala Management Plan that meets minimum requirements that have been set by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).
The new requirements will ensure certain practices to protect koalas are implemented by plantation management companies, including the use of koala spotters during operations and the retention of a number of trees around any tree containing a koala.
The mandatory requirements were developed by DELWP, based on industry guidelines and recommendations from an expert panel, which included leaders in plantation forestry, koala biology and behaviour, and animal welfare.
The Labor Government will continue to work closely with the industry, Traditional Owners and wildlife carers in the Green Triangle Region to facilitate further advancements in plantation harvesting best practice with the aim of further minimising impacts on koalas.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“These are common-sense reforms which will deliver better outcomes for koalas and greater certainty for the timber industry.”
“We’ve listened to industry and welfare groups to make sure we strike the right balance in Blue-gum plantation management.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020