|Hanging a banner on the roof of Orbost Vicforests office||Part of the group protesting outside VicForests|
21 December 2005
Forty Protest at VicForests
Forty people from across Australia and the world are today protesting outside VicForests in Orbost. The group, which includes people from the Netherlands, Germany, New Zealand, China and England have been in East Gippsland for a week, and last week stopped work in three logging coupes on the Errinundra Plateau. Banners reading “Vicforests: Tearing the heart from Victoria” and “East Gippsland Old Growth Almost Gone” have been hung from the building.
The group are calling for the immediate protection of old growth forests and are appalled at recent job cuts to flora and fauna staff within the department.
“The best Christmas present Premier Steve Bracks can give Victorians is protection of their old growth forest. Our international visitors have been inspired by the beauty of these forests and they cannot believe that Australia is still destroying its unique heritage in this way,” said spokesperson for the group Fiona York.
“East Gippsland contains some of the most biodiverse forests in the world yet it is the Forest and Biodiversity officers in the department that are losing their jobs,” she continued.
“Vicforests have proven time and time again that they are not able to manage these forests, as the recent logging of the Errinundra National Park demonstrates. It is they who should be losing their jobs,” she concluded.
Today’s action co-incides with similar actions in Melbourne calling for an end to forest destruction.
16 December 2005
Sixty protesters halt logging
Sixty people from across Australia and the world have stopped logging in three logging coupes in East Gippsland. The logging coupes are all on the eastern side of the Errinundra Plateau and contain old growth forest and rainforest. They are all adjacent to reserved forest.
Logging has been stopped in three coupes simultaneously since early this morning. The group includes people from New Zealand, Holland, Germany, Hong Kong and China as well as Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle, and Tasmania.
“The issue of old growth logging is as important to people from across the world as it is to Victorians. Our international visitors cannot believe that Australia continues to destroy its unique natural heritage in this way,” said spokesperson for the group, Fiona York.
“It is up to Premier Steve Bracks to act quickly to protect Victoria’s last remaining old growth forest before it is too late,” she concluded.
Protests are expected to continue.
For further information:
Friday, 16 December 2005. 14:40 (AEDT)
Forest protesters in East Gippsland, in south-east Victoria, have blockaded logging in three forest blocks east of the Errinundra Plateau. About 60 protesters from around Australia have moved into the area at the start of the summer anti-logging campaign.
Fiona York from Goongerah, north of Orbost, says protests will step up in the next few weeks in the lead up to the state election next year.
"We'd like to see all old-growth forest protected. I mean Goolengook is a great example of exactly how badly wrong the Government has got it in the past by logging all that old-growth forest in there and we'd like to see all that old-growth forest protected immediately," she said.
15 December 2005
Sixty people from across the country and the world have come to Goongerah for a week of activities in the forest. The group, many of whom are students, come from Melbourne, sydney, Newcastle, Tasmania, Wollongong, as well as New Zealand, Holland, Germany, China, Hong Kong and England. They spent the day learning new skills and today visited a logging coupe in the Goongerah water catchment.
Updates and photos to follow soon....