Legless legislation

Striped legless lizard. Photo: Brett Howland

The plants and animals of Australia may consider themselves lucky, as they are legally protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. But as I have found out, sometimes triggering this Act does little more than generate paper work.

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Facts for a burning issue

coarse woody debris in nature reserve

Woody debris on public land provides precious habitat. Collecting it as firewood is a threatening process to biodiversity and should not be encouraged.

The Victorian Government has abolished fees for collecting firewood on public land despite expert advice that removing dead trees from forests threatens native bird species. This strikes me as outrageous but when I attempted to find a bit of information to support my stand I found myself struggling. Can you help me?

The facts of this story were presented in a short article in The Age newspaper titled Firewood fee given the chop. The story says the Victorian Government was making firewood collection easier in state parks by scrapping a $28 a cubic metre charge and permit application process. Critics accused the government of being environmentally irresponsible and putting at risk a growing farm forestry industry.

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I’m fretting about our forests.

Deforestation in Bolivia. Taken from International Space Station in April 2001 (Photo: NASA)

I don’t know if you watched Foreign Correspondent the other day (Episode: Paper/Tiger, televised 2/8/2011). It was about rainforest destruction in Sumatra, Indonesia. I watched it and it was confronting. It’s had me thinking about many things. One of them, guitars.

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