A COMMUNITY survey launched by the WA Government calls for West Aussies to have their say on the value and use of the State’s South-West native forests.
Views from locals in this preliminary consultation are expected to help the government develop the next Forest Management Plan.
WA Forest Alliance has welcomed the initiative by WA Environment Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson to consult the public about future forest management.
WAFA convener Jess Beckerling said recent polling showed the overwhelming majority of West Australians wanted to see the full protection of all remaining South West forests.
“For the first time ever, the State Government has now formally opened that conversation,” she said.
“This survey is a perfect illustration of just how much the conversation around the South West forests has changed over the past decade.”
Ms Beckerling said the current FMP was written under the Barnett Government with a heavy emphasis on handing the forests over to industrial logging: largely for woodchips, firewood and charcoal.
“Since then, 10 football fields of precious, publicly owned Jarrah and Karri forests have been logged or cleared every single day,” she said.
“Now, with the upcoming expiry of the current FMP and overwhelming calls for forests to be protected this is the best opportunity we have ever had to protect the South West forests once and for all.”
Environment and Climate Action minister Amber-Jade Sanderson said WA’s native forests were an important natural asset.
“The Forest Management Plan is crucial to the protection and management of our South-West forests into the future,” she said.
“With the ever-increasing impacts of climate change on our native forests, and given the high level of community interest in their use, now is the time to start seeking the public’s input into the future plan.”
The survey is now open and will close at 5pm on Sunday August 1. The public can access the survey link by visiting the WA media statements website.