Lilydale Protection Group Incorporated

Media Release

2pm. AEST, March 4th, 2010

Concerned Lilydale Residents Angry that Government and Liberals Refuse to protect their water catchment
Minister Llewellyn and Liberal shadow Minister Hidding today publicly linked arms to refuse a community request to protect Lilydale’s water catchment. Concerned residents have called for tripartisan support for buying land, currently being converted into plantation, for the purpose of protecting their town’s water supply.
Lilydale Protection Group spokesperson Margy Dockray said
“Serious questions now surround the safety of E. Nitens plantations in drinking water catchments. It’s outrageous that both Labor and Liberal are falling over themselves to support forestry contractors in the north east, to the tune of 1.8 million dollars, but when it comes to making a small financial commitment to vouchsafe the drinking water of a whole town, they refuse! It’s a blatant disregard for legitimate public concerns for the health and wellbeing of Lilydale village.”
Minister Llewellyn on ABC radio said Lilydale should put their faith in the findings of the Forest Practices Authority.
But Mrs Dockray advised the Forest Practices System has been shown to fail the community on many levels. The planning for the area was inadequate, basic mapping was inaccurate and a significant stream was not even identified, despite public assurances by the Chief Forest Practices Officer (Mr Wilkinson) that the planning was based on thorough scientific research. Mr Wilkinson has not yet scheduled a meeting with Lilydale residents, depite many requests made over several weeks.
“There is absolutely no avenue of appeal open to the people of the village. The Forest Practices Authority has proven to be a dead end for community requests. It’s obscene that the Minister uses the Forest Practices Authority to deflect attention away from the Government’s own indifference” Mrs Dockray said. “I would have thought a town’s drinking water was as important as forestry contractors’ debts. These politicians have sent us a clear message today. They commit taxpayers money to support a sick industry but do nothing to answer the concerns of a healthy community.”
Margy Dockray