The Otway ranges, in terms of the history of planet earth is a unique, cool temperate rainforest.
The Otways grew because it lives beside the Great Southern Ocean.
The land experienced a recent uplift. The wind brings in moisture, the breath of life from the sea to the streams.
Otways Mountain Ash are amongst the tallest flowering plants in the whole world.
Because so much of Australia is a desert, Otway rainforests are precious. It is immoral to reduce the Otways to a tree farm, a stack of lumber and woodchips heaped up for export.
The story of the Otways is not just the story of a log. It’s a story about the tallest flowering plants in the world. Mountain Ash survive in the Otways along the Barham River. The climax tree is the Myrtle Beech – Nothofagus Cunninghamii. You can see the beech trees towering proudly in Paradise and the gullies of the Otways, safe from fire and the heat of the sun.
Micro organisms and so many unexplored plants and animals, glow worms and flying sugar gliders, snails that are carnivores and the skinniest tree ferns imaginable. Here they are, softly fed by fresh flowing streams of clean water and misty clouds floating by.
It is a lie to say the Otways are plantations, silently waiting for the harvest.
Industry brings erosion, pollution and poison. The Otways are being back-burned on purpose. Filthy mud and busy wheels, winding round forever. Rainforests are being greedily gobbled by suburbia and houses that are not safe from fire.
Vehicles bring the rot that kills beech trees every day, a silent death running through the forest.
But we are lucky to live here, falling in love with the Otways, and keen to share the beauty.
If you care, contact the Premier of Victoria and have your say.
phone: 03 9651 5000
Here is a sample letter (copy and paste to your email):
Jobs in the Otways are dependent on protecting our healthy rainforest biodiversity.
In future we want to keep on attracting visitors to the Otways from all over the world.
Tourism is an industry that seriously deserves your attention – you can set up log farms in Colac.
Pollution and endless trucking is a tourist hazard on our steep and winding roads.
Logging, in particular the plantation harvest is destroying the wealth of Otways biodiversity.
Tree farming is not appropriate in our precious heritage and under your premiership it is expanding.
Crazy logging activity is a threat to the clean fresh water catchments as well as unique biodiversity.
The Otways rainforest plants and creatures are critical to Australia’s future, in our very dry continent.
This tiny crescent on the coast of southwest Victoria needs your protection, not exploitation.