ALP River Red Gum Commitment Welcomed

November 17, 2006

The commitment by the Victorian ALP to new River Red Gum National Parks along the River Murray and its tributaries has been cautiously welcomed today by leading conservation groups.

The ALP has committed to creating new National Parks upon the advice of the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council, which is currently running an independent investigation of River red Gum public land in northern Victoria.

“This announcement strengthens the ALP’s commitment to protecting public Red Gum forests, wetlands and rivers for future generation” Nick Roberts, VNPA spokesperson said “There are millions of Victorians who want to see our Red Gum areas and the hundreds of native plants and animals they support protected in new national parks”

“This commitment also reaffirms the importance of the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council as a truly independent body with a proven track record of balanced decisions based on community consultation and science.’

Friends of the Earth spokesperson Jonathan La Nauze expressed frustration that other parties have yet to make any commitments to River Red Gum, the River Murray or its Traditional Owners.

“Other major parties are silent, yet new national parks, jointly managed by Aboriginal Traditional Owners present great social, environmental and economic opportunities to the region. It is about time these parties made their positions known.

Both groups urged anyone interested in the future protection of Red Gum and threatened species to make a submission to VEAC by visiting www.veac.vic.gov.au before December 7th.

For further information please contact:

Nick Roberts- VNPA 0429 945 429

Jonathan La Nauze – FoE 0402 904 251