Historic win - Millewa forest safe

19th May 2010

In a press conference at 1pm today NSW Premier Kristina Keneally announced a stunning outcome for the red gum forests of the Riverina.

19th May 2010

In a press conference at 1pm today NSW Premier Kristina Keneally announced a stunning outcome for the red gum forests of the Riverina.

After months of to-ing and fro-ing, we finally have a deal worth celebrating. For a while, it was looking as if a decade long campaign was going to end with a catastrophic "transition log" of the world renowned Millewa Forest, and a slap in the face for the Yorta Yorta people who were to be locked out of the new management arrangements.

Today's announcement brought the NSW Red Gum National Park plan up to the high benchmark set by the Brumby government in 2008. Highlights include:

All of Millewa forest immediately protected
--- rather than the catastrophic five years of intensive "transition logging" that had been proposed

Joint management of Millewa with the Yorta Yorta Traditional Owners
--- who were ignored in the first announcement

No transition logging anywhere
-- including the proposed Indigenous Protected Areas, which were to be logged under the original proposal until such time as they were handed back to Traditional Owners

Plus all the good stuff in the original announcement including:
* a total of 106,000 ha of red gum protection; and
* groundbreaking handback of the Werai and Taroo forests to Traditional Owners

You can read the premier's press release here [external link - pdf 58kb]

You can read our joint environment groups press release here

Friends of the Earth congratulates everyone who has been a part of achieving this profound victory: Justice for Land and People.

Congratulations in order

Good environmental decisions are far too rare. Decisions that combine environmental and social justice - as happenned today in Sydney - are even harder to come by.

For that reason, we urge you to take a moment and congratulate the NSW government on making a historic stand for justice and ecological protection in the Riverina.

So that there may be another victory, another one after that, it's important we give credit for the leadership shown today.

You can send an email to Premier Keneally and Environment Minsiter Sartor right now on the Premier's website or perhaps make a quick phone call or send a letter:

Premier Kristina Keneally
Telephone: (02) 9228 5239
Fax: (02) 9228 3934
Post: GPO Box 5341, Sydney NSW 2000

Environment Minister Frank Sartor
Telephone: (02) 9228 5811
Fax: (02) 9228 5499
Post: Governor Macquarie Tower, Level 35, 1  Farrer Place, SYDNEY NSW 2000