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    Victoria ALP State Government

    In general most of the councils that have supported resolutions opposed to logging in the Melbourne catchments overlap with ALP marginal seats in Metropolitan Melbourne. In general the MWCN has lobbied MP’s which are either ALP vs  Liberal or ALP vs Greens contests in marginal seats (less than 4%) where there is council support for a logging ban in the Melbourne catchments.

    The MWCN run a series of advertisements (See example pdf) in targeted local papers asking the incumbent ALP MP’s to support a logging ban in the Melbourne catchments.

    Where is is  a  ALP vs Greens Party contest, the Melbourne Leader run this front page story (Melbourne Leader, 12 April 2010).

    Where it is a ALP vs Liberal Party contest, the Whitehorse Leader ran this story. (Whitehorse Leader, 22 June 2010.)

    The MWCN has formally  met the Environment Minister Gavin Jennings and Water Minister Tim Holding. These meetings were very productive.

    Some ALP MP’s have not hesitated to declare their public support for a total logging ban in Melbourne catchments. This has resulted in  recent speculation the Victorian ALP will support a logging ban in the Melbourne catchments.

    Other ALP Melbourne metropolitan MP’s are more cautious.

    Tammy Lobato. Seat of Gembrook.

    The most vocal ALP supporter against logging the Melbourne catchments has been Tammy Lobato State MP for Gembrook. Lobato’s position is consistent with the Yarra Ranges Shire that has passed several no catchment  logging motions.

    In recent times Tammy has produced a flier with a page that declares her support for a Melbourne catchment logging ban.  This support has been challenged by logging lobby groups in the Weekly Times (22 Sept)  and in State parliament recently.

    In 2008 pro-logging groups targeted Tammy for her support to preserve the Melbourne catchment forests.

    Jane Garrett. Seat of Brunswick.

    Jane Garrett is the endorsed ALP candidate for Brunswick and the Mayor of the City of Yarra council.  As the Mayor,  Jane Garrett formally endorsed previous councils motions,  calling on the Victorian State Government to ban logging in the Melbourne catchments.  (Download City of Yarra Council miniutes from 20 July 2010,  see page 137).

    Bronwyn Pike. Seat of Melbourne.

    Bronwyn Pike is the local member for Melbourne.  When the MWCN met with Ms Pike she made it clear that she was very sympathetic towards stopping catchment logging but made no commitment on behalf of the State government.

    This discussion was reported in Melbourne Times, 21 April 2010.  (Melbourne Times_21-april 2010 ).

    Fiona Richardson. Seat of Northcote.

    Fiona Richardson was first elected as the local member for Northcote in 2006.

    The MWCN became concerned by media reports that suggested a link between a pro-logging campaign by Timber Communities Australia (TCA) and the member for Northcote Fiona Richardson.

    CPI Strategic, a company part-owned by Ms Richardson’s husband, Stephen Newnham (also ex Victorian ALP State secretary) was commissioned to write a report  for Timber Communities Australia.  See TCA press release.

    This CPI Strategic report is endorsed by the Victorian Association of Forest Industries (See VAFI press release) and reported in the media.

    Weekly Times, 22th September 2010.

    The Age and Crikey on the 27th September 2010.

    Members from the MWCN and Friends of the Earth met with Ms Richardson on the 14 of October to clarify her views regarding logging in the Melbourne water supply catchments.

    Ms Richardson made stated that she did not share Mr Newnham’s views and provided an email response stating she supports a ban on logging in the Melbourne water supply catchments.

    However purchase Sildenafil Ms Richardson’s refuses to make her support public to her constituents, so it is still unknown if her commitment is genuine.

    Richard Wynne. Seat of Richmond

    Richard Wynne has been the member for  Richmond since 1999.  Earlier this year the Melbourne Leader challenged Mr Wynne to state his views on logging in the Melbourne water catchments.

    Richmond state MP Richard Wynne, after he was asked for his position on logging in catchments, released a statement defending the Government’s record on forest and water sustainability.” Melbourne Leader 12 April 2010.

    Part of Mr Wynne’s ‘record on forest and water sustainability’ was his strong support for a logging ban in the Geelong Otways water supply catchments during the 2002 Victorian State election.  When the legislation was passed though the Victorian Parliament in 2005 to ban logging in the Otways  (that included Otway water supply catchments), Mr Whynne acknowledged in Parliament(7th September 2005)  how that legislation was strongly endorsed by the community.

    “… it is no surprise to either side of the house that in part the overwhelming victory that the Labor Party had at the last election(2002)  was in no small way due to the commitment that this government made to the Otway national park.”

    Mr Wynne also acknowledged the key role the Otway Ranges Environment Network (now members of the MWCN) played in the Otways campaign and in seeking bipartisan political support.

    “… the OREN group had always operated in a bipartisan way and sought the support of all sides of the political spectrum to achieve its basic goal in the Otways.”

    The Otways is the water supply for 300,000 people in South West Victoria, including Geelong and Warrnambool.

    The MWCN encourages Mr Wynne to support a logging ban in the Melbourne water supply catchments that supplies water to 4 million people.

    Bob Stensholt. Seat of Burwood.

    Bob Stensholt has been the member for Burwood since  1999. When the Whitehorse Leader questioned Mr Stensholt on his views towards catchment logging it was reported:

    Mr Stensholt intended to consult with the water catchment network and said he had a background in water management and took an interest in the issue.”

    The MWCN has had several meetings with Mr Stensholt who has indeed shown great interest. In 2005, when legislation  was passed to stop logging the Geelong/ Otways water supply  catchments, Mr Stensholt spoke in Parliament (8th September 2005) very favourably. The NATIONAL PARKS (OTWAYS AND OTHER AMENDMENTS) BILL also protected small areas within the Melbourne Catchments for which Mr Stensholt spoke about.

    I am proud that action is being taken under this bill to enhance and protect water supply catchments and parks and areas around Melbourne. Melbourne Water land is being added to the Yarra Ranges National Park near the Badger Weir and also in the Upper Yarra catchment. This additional land being provided to parks by Melbourne Water will certainly make a great contribution to the parks arrangements in Melbourne and the Yarra Valley catchment area.”

    Mr Stensholt is yet to make a public statement supporting an end to Melbourne catchment logging.

    Tony Robinson. Seat of Mitcham.

    Tony Robinson’s has been the local member for Mitcham since 1997.  Mr Robinson’s electoral office has been targeted by protesting conservation  groups over  logging  in catchments.  See the Whitehorse Leader 22 June 2010 buy azithromycin online .

    Tony Robinson’s response to the issues raised by the MWCN in the Whitehorse Leader was:

    But Mr Robinson said the scientific research on logging near catchments was still being debated.  He said mountain ash was logged near the catchments and it was an important high-end timber product.”

    The member for Mitcham refuses to  meet with the MWCN. The MWCN is alarmed at Tony Robinson’s public comments.

    Maxine Morand. Seat of Waverley.

    Maxine Morand has held the seat of Waverley since 2002. The MWCN had a productive meeting at Ms Morand’s electoral office.  Ms Morand has yet to state her views publicly.

    Write to your MP and ask them if they support an end to logging in Melbourne’s catchments so the people of Melbourne can have more water. When you receive a response, please email or post us a copy.

    To receive email updates about logging in Melbourne’s water catchments, click here to send an email to melbourne-catchments-subscribe@googlegroups.com