9 April 2014
Member for Murray Plains and Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh has called on the Environment Minister Lisa Neville to extend the cut-off date for people wanting to collect dry firewood from the Barmah Forest National Park.
Mr Walsh said it is unfair that the government intends to close the forest on 30th June 2015 preventing people from collecting the firewood.
“Many people particularly elderly people are dependent on firewood for their cooking and heating. The price of firewood has gone through the roof and it is simply not possible for some people to outlay the funds required for a year’s supply of firewood “ he said.
The Andrews Labor government’s decision to lock up the forest and cease the collection of firewood on 30th June 2015 will impact significantly on the hardship and health concerns of a large number of residents Mr Walsh said.
On their behalf Mr Walsh has asked the Minister to re-consider this decision to prevent people from collecting dry fire-wood or in the very least announce a postponement of the proposed end date.