"The past is never fully gone. It is absorbed into the present and the future. It stays to shape what we are and what we do."
Sir William Deane, Governor-General of Australia, Inaugural Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture, August 1996.

A Focus on the Issues

The Report of the First Conservator of Forests
Richard Rawson (bio)


George Samuel Perrin was appointed as our first Conservator of Forests in 1888. His first Report to both Houses of the Parliament of Victoria was for the year ending 30 June 1890, and it pulled no punches.

Report on State Forests of Victoria, 1896

Introduction by Ian Hastings (bio)

Read the Complete Report


In 1895, B Rippentrop, then Inspector-General of Forests to the Government of India, was requested by The Hon RW Best, Minister of Lands, Victoria, to prepare this Report. It is reasonable to surmise that this, and previous reports by Perrin in 1890 and Vincent in 1887 (unpublished Report to Victorian Houses of Parliament), reflected the ongoing and increasing concern about the poor condition, regulation and management of many areas of Victorian forest on Crown Land, despite attempts to initiate strong management, arising from: