Head of VicForests is a science denier, role should be reviewed, say Greens

The Greens have condemned VicForests chief executive, Monique Dawson, for her comments towards Professor David Lindenmayer, one of the world’s most cited ecologists, following reports today of the proposed logging of forests in Victoria and NSW that were burnt in last summer’s devastating bushfires.

State Greens MP Ellen Sandell has called on Premier Daniel Andrews to immediately review the VicForests CEO’s position, saying her anti-science comments as a public office holder are unacceptable.

Greens Senator Janet Rice has written to Environment Minister Sussen Ley, urging the federal government to step in and prevent the state logging agencies from causing further damage to these bushfire-affected forest areas.

Senator Janet Rice, Greens federal spokesperson for Forests said:

“The head of VicForests is a science denier. Monique Dawson was quoted rejecting the work of an internationally regarded ecologist and her outrageous views should have no place in the Victorian public service.

“This summer’s fires burnt through an unprecedented 20% of our mainland forests, but our state and federal governments seem happy to decimate these already badly-damaged fire-affected areas.

“The science is clear that this ‘salvage logging’ activity will cause further disturbance to these ecosystems and would severely hamper the regeneration and recovery of these forests.

“I have written to Minister Ley to urge the federal government & its Expert Panel on bushfire recovery to stop VicForests and the NSW Forestry Corporation from causing further destruction.

Ellen Sandell MP, Victorian Greens spokesperson for environment said:

“Logging in burnt forests is like sending a recovery patient to war. With protection and restoration, our forests will recover, but not if they’re logged so soon after the summer’s devastating fires.

“VicForests’ science denial is yet another example of the agency’s total disregard for science, in the same week courts have stepped in to halt logging in 26 areas.

“The Government must immediately review the CEO’s position and rule out post-fire logging for the protection of our environment, our water catchments and our wildlife.”

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