Logging would cut bushfire risk: Abetz
Logging would cutbushfire risk: Abetz
13 December 2006
published by news.ninemsn.com.au
Australia — Tasmania’s bushfire crisis would not be so severe if the state’sforests had been logged rather than protected, Federal Forestry Minister EricAbetz said.
Senator Abetz said the severity of the bushfires, which have destroyed 14homes in Tasmania’s east, called into question the value of making forestsoff-limits to logging and grazing.
He blamed a build-up of fuel in wilderness areas for the severity of thefires.
“Many Australians are starting to feel cheated that they were sold aline that you could simply lock up our forests and keep them forever,”Senator Abetz told ABC radio.
“And then fire comes through and destroys the koala habitat, the alpineplant species and, in Tasmania … those areas that people have argued to belocked up are now just there in ashes.”
Firefighters have prepared a control line on the edge of the Wielangta StateForest, which is the subject of a court battle by Greens leader Bob Brown whowants to prevent the area from being logged.
Senator Brown rejected Senator Abetz’s arguments.
“The majority of the forest that we’ve been talking about in the FederalCourt wasn’t burnt in the fire,” he told the ABC.
The areas that had been burnt would recover quickly and remain an importanthabitat for key species, Senator Brown said.