East Gippsland Local News:
Ingram Stands-Up For Gippsland On Firewood Issue
Firewood is considered an essential service for Gippslanders
By Craig Ingram MP - 25th June 2002 - Back to News
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The Member for Gippsland East, Craig Ingram, has warned the Government to listen carefully to what Gippslanders have to say on firewood.
"I have received dozens of queries and concerns from constituents in relation to the Government’s plan to put in place a firewood strategy across the state," Mr Ingram said.
"I will be telling the Government, in the strongest possible terms, that firewood is considered an essential service for Gippslanders and a one-size-fits-all approach for regulating firewood collection across the state would not be acceptable."
Mr Ingram believes the situation in Gippsland East, where there is a large area of state forests, cannot and should not be treated in the same way as, for example, the box iron bark forest regions in central and northern Victoria, or the householders in down-town Richmond.
"While city dwellers may have the luxury of an aesthetic fire place as well as gas heating, many residents in my Gippsland East electorate rely on wood heaters and fires as their only option to keep warm," he said.
"Even those who have gas heaters are forced to chop wood because the price of LPG is too high and there is no access to reticulated natural gas.
"Gippsland residents are not against preserving biodiversity, but they have a right to keep warm and to do so at a reasonable price and convenience.
"The collection and storage of the wood left behind after timber harvesting is one source that should be utilised.
"Country people are already facing electricity and gas prices that are way above Melbourne prices.
"Any feel-good firewood strategy that threatens to push up firewood price and accessibility will be rejected by Gippslanders."
"I want to reassure people that it is not too late to have your say and voice your concerns, in fact this is the time to do it."
"I welcome any comments and concerns that constituents have in relation to this matter, including options and ideas for a firewood strategy that Gippslanders would support," Mr Ingram concluded.
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