Equity and Sustainability in the Old Growth Forests of the Central Highlands of Victoria


  • A. Dragun


The general issue of forest use has been highly contentious in Victoria and considerable human effort has been exerted to establish the “best” use of forests. This economic, bureaucratic and political contemplation has yielded a multitude of different policy prescriptions with quite variable efficiency and equity outcomes. However, a feature of the analysis is that nowhere-on the grounds of efficiency or equity-is forestry logging the clearly desired outcome. Yet in the face of insurmountable evidence against logging, governments in Victoria prevaricate over making a formal decision not to log the forests-in fact the ad hoc approach to forest management favours the established forest interests. Clearly the narrow economic power and interests of a few logging companies are sufficient to counterbalance the much greater-but diffuse-well being of the many citizens in the state.