Yandina-based naturalist Greg Roberts
Yandina-based naturalist Greg Roberts Patrick Woods

Man who wants 21,000ha near Imbil locked up slams criticism

LETTER TO THE EDITOR BY GREG ROBERTS

YOUR newspaper has over two days run decidedly one-sided coverage of a proposal I put to the Qld Government to convert Imbil State Forest to a conservation park.

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CLICK HERE: Radical plan for 21,000ha of forestry near Imbil

File hotos of birdwatcher Greg Roberts is concerned the Sunshine Coast is losing habitat for indigenous birdlife.
File hotos of birdwatcher Greg Roberts is concerned the Sunshine Coast is losing habitat for indigenous birdlife. Warren Lynam

At no time have you sought comment from me or any of the organisations or scientists who support this plan.

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For the record, about half the 21,000ha state forest is pine plantation.

The 10,000ha of plantation is a tiny percentage of the 330,000ha of pine plantation in Queensland under lease to HQ Plantations.

Yandina based naturalist Greg Roberts
Yandina based naturalist Greg Roberts Patrick Woods

I'm appalled that you featured an attack on the proposal and me personally by shadow minister Tony Perrett without giving me a right of reply.

Mr Perrett has not seen the proposal, which is not the same as my article in The Weekend Australian.

The Environment Minister has said the proposal would not proceed without the approval of HQ Plantations.

The main objective in putting forward this proposal was to get a discussion going about a realistic plan to restore what is the country's most endangered native vegetation type - subtropical lowland rainforest.

Greg Roberts proposal to Rehabilitate Imbil State Forest drew some criticism from Gympie MP Tony Perrett, which Mr Roberts did not like.
Greg Roberts proposal to Rehabilitate Imbil State Forest drew some criticism from Gympie MP Tony Perrett, which Mr Roberts did not like. Melinda Counter

Yet you elect to deride me and others in the community who dare to put forward such ideas by printing Perrett's assertion that we are "nutters” and "inner city greenies”.

I live in the Sunshine Coast hinterland and have a long association with land use issues in this region stretching back to the 1970s.

This proposal is merely a suggestion about ways that we might restore a critically endangered habitat. It does not seek to undermine the timber industry.

Perrett has not sought to contact me or anyone else who has indicated support for this idea to seek further information.

He has not seen the submission.

This is merely another knee-jerk attack on conservation values by the Liberal National Party, a mindset that has help cost them government in the last two elections.It's a sad day when concerned community groups and individuals are unable to float an idea for discussion to improve the environment without being vilified and pigeon-holed by the likes of the Opposition's agricultural spokesman, Trevor Perrett.

It's a matter of public record that the Newman Liberal National Government had a disastrous environmental record. Among other things, it scrapped tree-clearing laws and opened up huge areas of state forest for logging and grazing.

The Opposition is demonstrating again that its anti-environment views have not changed.

The state Environment Minister has done nothing more than to indicate she would consider the proposal and that it would need the approval of HQ Plantations, which leases Imbil State Forest. The company itself has been far more temperate in its comments than Mr Perrett, saying it is open to discussion and requires further information.

Your paper also quoted Gary Bacon, a forest scientist, who dismissed the proposal as a "thought bubble”.

With respect, Dr Bacon is not a zoologist. He's not a biologist. He's not a botanist. He's not an ecologist. Experts in all these areas have lent their support to this proposal. They've said simply that if left unlogged, hoop pine plantations will revert to subtropical lowland rainforest. I've seen myself plantations that have been unlogged for decades and their transformation to rainforest is apparent.”

Greg Roberts,

Ninderry

Gympie Times


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