The Battle for Bonang River
- blockades at Centre Rd and Survey Rd

Click here to download short video on these blockades (quicktime movie 1.9meg)

Some of this area has been earmarked for protection, thanks in part to the hard work put in over many many years by countless blockaders. Click here for more info.

Tuesday 18 April 2006

Twenty people, including a timber worker from the Strezlecki Ranges, have entered the logging coupe on the Bonang River this morning. The controversial logging coupe has been the subject of a number of stop-work actions over the last couple of weeks. Police and Vicforests are at the scene, and a number of people have been charged by summons.

Saturday 8 April 2006

Thirty conservationists re-entered the controversial logging coupe on Centre Rd this morning. No tree felling was taking place, however, log loaders were loading log trucks. Work continued, despite the present of conservationists, and logs were actually loaded while people were sitting on them. Five people were assaulted when they were bodily removed by log truck drivers from the front of their log trucks.

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UPDATE: Logging started in the coupe this afternoon, despite conservationists being present. Contractors felled trees and chased people with machinery in the coupe, although they are claiming that they didn't know anyone was there. Police and DSE enforcement officers are now in the coupe, and complaints have been made to the police in Orbost.

Media Release
7 April 2006

Big Tree Logging Blockade on again

Twenty conservationists have again stopped logging on the Bonang River in East Gippsland. The group has walked into the controversial coupe, preventing logging from continuing since early this morning. The coupe, on Centre Rd, contains mixed forest, a rare rainforest type, as well as 600 year old trees. It is adjacent to Victoria’s largest tree, which was discovered by conservationists two years ago.

There have been five forest blockades in the Bonang River area since logging started there six weeks ago. Last week a tree platform preventing logging was removed by Search and Rescue police, and in February, a four-day blockade of the logging coupe ended in four arrests. There have been 13 forest blockades in East Gippsland since December and 30 people have been arrested so far.

“It is hard to understand why Victoria’s water catchments are still being logged. When those water catchments contain old growth forest and rainforest, as the Bonang River area does, it is even more difficult to understand,” said spokesperson for conservationists, Fiona York.

“People in Victoria know that these forests are worth more to us left standing than being chopped down. The Bonang River area should have been protected a long time ago, and it is about time Premier Steve Bracks intervened to protect Victoria’s old growth forest,” she concluded. For more information
fiona york 0351540174


Treesit stops big tree logging

Bracks: Stop logging old growth forest Dawn at Centre Rd Blockade
Cops arrive to bust blockade
Search and Rescue climb the tree

Media Release

27 March 2006

Big Tree Blockade Re-established

Conservationists have re-entered the controversial “big tree” logging coupe in the Bonang River catchment.  A tree platform has been attached to a gate blocking the road, preventing logging from commencing in the area.  The coupe, on Centre Rd, contains mixed forest, a rare rainforest type, as well as 600 year old trees.  It is adjacent to Victoria’s largest tree, which was discovered by conservationists two years ago.

The Bonang River area has been the site of a number of forest blockades over the last month, including a four-day blockade in February resulting in two arrests. There have been 13 forest blockades in East Gippsland since December and 30 people have been arrested so far.

“Last week we saw people across the world celebrating World Water Day, yet meanwhile in Victoria, water catchments are still being logged.  This logging reduces water yield by up to 50%.  When these water catchments contain massive old trees and rare rainforest types, as the Bonang River area does, it is hard to understand why they are being logged at all” said spokesperson for conservationists, Fiona York.

“People in Victoria know that these forests are worth more to us left standing than being chopped down.  It is time Premier Steve Bracks recognised this and acted to protect these rare forests from logging,” she concluded.

For more information
Fiona York
0351540174

High resolution photos available this afternoon


Media Release

10 March 2006

Big Tree Logging Stopped Again

Fifteen conservationists have again stopped logging on the Bonang River in East Gippsland.  The group walked into the controversial coupe, causing logging to halt, and are remaining there to prevent logging from continuing.  The coupe, on Centre Rd, contains mixed forest, a rare rainforest type, as well as 600 year old trees.  It is adjacent to Victoria’s largest tree, which was discovered by conservationists two years ago.

The Bonang River area has been the site of a number of forest blockades over the last month, which resulted in four arrests.  There have been 12 forest blockades in East Gippsland since December and 30 people have been arrested so far.

“Logging this area is an extremely provocative act.  The Bonang River area should have been protected a long time ago, and has been subject to protest activity for many years.  It is about time Premier Steve Bracks intervened to protect Victoria’s old growth forest,” said spokesperson for conservationisits, Fiona York.

“The amount of protest activity in recent times is indicative of how much old growth forest is being logged in East Gippsland.  These logging coupes are on the border of the Errinundra National Park and contain rare rainforest and plant communities, massive old trees and habitat for endangered species such as the Long Footed Potoroo,” she concluded.

For more information
Fiona York
0351540174


4 March 2006

Bidwali leaders halt logging at Survey Rd

Two indigenous leaders from the Bidwali clan entered a logging coupe on Survey Rd with 20 non-indigenous supporters, to issue notices calling for the end of logging in old growth forest.

Survey rd Log mate and stump Bidwali Leaders in logging coupe in Survey Rd
Banner: Destroying Sustainable Environment Logging machine in coupe at Bonang River coupe


UPDATE: 27 February 2.15 pm - the two lockons have been removed and arrested. There are ten Vicforests and 3 police in attendence, and they have told everyone to get out of the coupe. Loggers tried to start working despite the lock ons, so people started black wallabying and they have stopped working again. Two loggers locked on to a conservationists car, and were removed by Vicforests and had their chains confiscated.

Media Release

27 February 2006

Conservationists stop logging again

Conservationists have again stopped logging in the Bonang River area this morning, with two people locking themselves to logging machinery.  These controversial logging coupes have been subject to forest blockades for a number of years, with a four-day blockade last week resulting in two arrests.  Today’s blockade is preventing logging from occurring in a coupe on Survey Rd, which contains massive trees, rare plant communities and endangered species habitat.  The coupe was not scheduled to be logged until 2008, yet is being logged now.

There have been eleven forest blockades in East Gippsland in the last two months, all in old growth forest, with 29 people arrested so far.  Protests against the continued logging of old growth forest in East Gippsland have also occurred in Melbourne, Vicforest offices in Orbost and at the Eden woodchip export mill in NSW. 

“The sight of massive old trees on the back of log trucks is not something Victorians should have to put up with in this day and age.  Its about time Premier Steve Bracks acted to stop this destruction” said spokesperson for conservationists, Fiona York.

“The amount of protest activity in recent times is indicative of how much old growth forest is being logged in East Gippsland.  These logging coupes in the headwaters of the Bonang River should have been protected from logging a long time ago.  They contain rare rainforest and plant communities, massive old trees and habitat for endangered species such as the Long Footed Potoroo,” she concluded.

For more information:
Fiona York
0351540174


20 February 2006

Police Move in on Forest Blockade

Police and government officers have moved in on a forest blockade in the Bonang River area. Approximately 10 police, including Search and Rescue, along with 15 Vicforest and DSE officers have set up an exlcusion zone around the area and are in the process of removing protesters. Two people have been arrested so far and taken to Bendoc police station

Logging has been unable to continue in the Bonang River area since protesters set up a forest blockade last Friday morning. Two people remained locked to logging machinery all weekend and one person remains attached to a tree platform preventing access to the logging coupe. Seven people were charged on summons on Friday, yet police did not attempt to remove them and the blockade continued.

The logging coupe is in a controversial area containing huge 600 year old trees and rare rainforest types. It is in the vicinity of Victoria’s largest tree, which was discovered by conservationists two years ago.


ABC Online

Logging protesters block forest coupe access

Monday, 20 February 2006. 15:09 (AEDT)

Police and VicForests' officers are at a logging blockade on the Erinunderra Plateau in East Gippsland.

Protesters have built a tripod on Centre Road, blocking access to the coupe.

Fiona Yorke from the Goongerah Environment Centre says the protesters are determined to stay in the coupe.

"There's 15 conservationists in the logging coupe at the moment, two people are locked onto a logging machine, another remains up a tree platform and they're very determined to stay as long as possible and protect this area of forest," she said.

Logging contractor Gary Squires, from Snowy Harvesting and Haulage, says he is frustrated by the protests.

He says two contractors had to stay in the coupe on the weekend to protect their equipment.

"They've had to camp there overnight, it means they effectively can't work today, the ones that camped there last night, they're getting no pay for it, it's just 24-hours-a-day for no productive work," he said.


UPDATE: 17 Februray 11.30 am - two people have locked on to machinery in the logging coupe, preventing work from starting. Four loggers tried to start work in the coupe, despite the tree platform blocking the road, and have now been stopped. Vicforests is in attendance.

Media Release
17 Februaury 2006

Big Tree Logging Stopped

Logging has been halted in a controversial logging coupe on the Errinundra Plateau this morning. Fifteen people have blocked a logging road with a tree platform attached to a gate, preventing log trucks from accessing the logging coupe. The coupe is on the Bonang River and contains a rare rainforest type as well as 600 year old trees. It is likely that the coupe would not be able to be logged under new prescriptions for rainforest protection in the draft Code of Forest Practices, which will come into force mid-year.

Forest blockades remain in place in the Goongerah and Yalmy forests, preventing access to five logging coupes in water catchments and old growth forest. There have been 13 arrests at logging protests this year in East Gippsland.

“Logging these areas is extremely provocative. The Bonang River area contains Victoria’s largest tree and the last unprotected stands of mixed forest, which is the rarest rainforest type. It is likely that these coupes would not be logged under the new rainforest prescriptions which will come into force later in the year, so instead Vicforests are making a last ditch effort to destroy them now while they still can,” said spokesperson for environmentalists, Fiona York.

“Steve Bracks must act to reign in Vicforests, who are causing havoc across Victoria by going into these extremely controversial areas. It is time all old growth is protected, and logging cease immediately in these areas,” she concluded.

For more information:
Fiona York


ABC Online

Anti-logging protesters stage forest action

Friday, 17 February 2006. 14:11 (AEDT)

Forest protesters have locked themselves to a tree platform and logging equipment in a coup on the Errinundra Plateau today.

VicForests' officers are at the site and police from Orbost are on their way.

Luke Chamberlain from Environment East Gippsland says the area was not due to be logged until at least 2008.

He says environment groups are talking to the State Government this week about a new code of forest practices due in June this year.

"It will be coming in and will actually prevent logging in these areas because it does contain rainforest species," he said.

"Under the new code we understand that logging of rainforest will be illegal, so again quite a provocative act by VicForests to just come in and grab what they can before these rules are introduced."


Click here for past actions at Centre Rd.

Click here for victoria's biggest tree - right next to this logging coupe


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