Barrabup Conservation Group hand over petition

The Barrabup Conservation Group made their way to parliament house on Thursday to hand over a petition to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson asking for logging to be stopped in the forest.

BCG spokesperson Ellie Mckie said more than 100 supporters met on the steps of parliament to deliver the petition which contained 3346 signatures.

Ms Mckie said the minister accepted the petition and while assessments were still underway the government would look at whether this area should be taken off the Forest Management Plan.

”BCG will continue to have meetings with ministers regarding the proposal to make Barrabup a national park,” she said.

Minister Stephen Dawson said forest management and protection was very important and that South West forests provided a range of environmental, social and economic benefits for all Western Australians.

Mr Dawson said the main objective of the FMP was to protect biological diversity through strategies and landscape.

He said about 62 per cent of public land covered by the FMP was protected in a network of reserves, both formal (national parks, conservation parks and nature reserves) and informal (stream and river zones and areas of old-growth forest) and fauna habitat zones.

“Barrabup forest block is state forest, which means it is available for activities such as recreation, beekeeping and timber harvesting,” he said. 

If assessment of Barrabup Forest finds that old-growth areas are present, Mr Dawson said these areas would be excluded from operations.

South West MP Diane Evers tabled the petition in parliament opposing the logging of Barrabup Jarrah Forest calling for its protection of a formal conservation reserve.

“In the lead up to the state election, ALP members repeatedly told concerned community members that an incoming ALP government would protect high conservation value forests,” she said.

“If the ALP want to maintain credibility with the community, the answer with regard to the Barrabup Forest is obvious.”

The cross-party Parliamentary Environment and Public Affairs Committee will now review the petition to decide whether a parliamentary inquiry is required.