Supreme Court Injunction halts logging of old growth forest

Forest conservationists who established a blockade of old growth forest in East Gippsland are celebrating today after environment groups secured a legal injunction that has stalled the logging operation.

Controversy erupted last week when VicForests constructed a road into the forest to commence logging. Goongerah Environment Centre launched an online petition calling on Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio to step in and protect the old growth forest, the petition has so far attracted over 6500 signatures.

Lawyers from Environmental Justice Australia  acting for Fauna and Flora Research Collective secured a Supreme Court injunction this morning to halt the logging arguing that the government has not protected the minimum required area of old growth forest in East Gippsland.

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Forest blockade established in East Gippsland’s Kuark forest to protest old growth logging

Twenty conservationists have established a forest blockade in East Gippsland to prevent logging machinery entering an area of old growth forest due to be logged this week by the Victorian state government logging agency VicForests.

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Kuark forest old growth about to be logged

FRCF022280_copy_2.jpgVicForests will target some of the most spectacular old growth forest remaining in Victoria this spring.

A road has been pushed into the forest and logging could commence any day.

The forest has never been logged and is part of one of the most significant remaining stands of old growth forest left in Victoria.

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Report exposes Labor's lawless logging

To mark National Threatened Species day, we've teamed up with Friends of the Earth Melbourne to release a report documenting 27 unlawful native forest logging operations in protected threatened species habitat and rainforest. 

These logging operations have occurred under the Andrews Labor government.

Read the report here.

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50 people attend winter citizen science camp

Cold weather and the official start of winter didn't deter fifty enthusiastic citizen scientists from attending GECO's winter forest survey camp in Goongerah over the long weekend.

GECO's 12th citizen science camp attracted a diverse crowd of people from Melbourne, Gippsland and Sydney who took part in old growth forest walks, remote fauna camera surveys, rainforest identification and mammal spotlighting surveys.

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Protect the Greater Glider from logging - Take action here!

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Government scientists have advised Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio to issue a conservation order to protect the Greater Glider from logging.

The Minister's department has urged her not to follow this advice.

 

Instead the department recommended discussions with the state logging agency for ‘voluntary action’.

Scientific advice and departmental documents were released to GECO under Freedom of Information.

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Greater Glider set to be listed on Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act

The Victorian Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) has made a final recommendation to list the greater glider as a protected species on the Flora and Fauna Guarantee (FFG) Act.

The greater glider was nominated for listing last year, the SAC final recommendation has now been forwarded to Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio who has 30 days to decide whether the species will be listed.

Listing the greater glider on the FFG Act must be swiftly followed by measures to strengthen protections for the species in state forests subject to logging.

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Environmentalists who exposed logging have charges thrown out

Originally published on the The Age website

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/environmentalists-who-exposed-logging-have-charges-thrown-out-20170224-gukkdn.html

Bianca Hall

Two environmentalists who entered an East Gippsland logging coupe to document the destruction of rainforest have had charges against them dismissed.

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A giant cut-tail ash tree logged and left behind on the edge of rainforest gully. Photo: Goongerah Environment Centre

 

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Court dismisses criminal charges against conservationists who exposed rainforest logging

Two conservationists from Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) had charges dismissed in the Orbost Magistrates Court today. Ed Hill and Joe Henderson were prosecuted for entering a logging area where they documented and reported logging of protected rainforest in East Gippsland in April 2015.

Hill and Henderson submitted a report documenting the logging breach to the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP). The DELWP investigation found a rainforest area that was consistent with the minimum requirements to trigger legal protection, had been subject to ‘unwarranted destruction’ by loggers under the control of VicForests. Despite this conclusion the Department decided not to take any regulatory action.

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Help W-Tree community save the Basin Creek rainforest complex

The W-Tree community near the Snowy river in East Gippsland, need your help to stop logging of the Basin Creek rainforest complex. This spectacular rainforest area is under threat from VicForests logging operations.

Click here to sign the petition to Victorian Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio  and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews calling on them to protect this stunning place from destructive clear fell logging.

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Over 100 attend snap vigil for Victoria's threatened species

Over 100 people attended a snap vigil for Victoria's forest dependent threatened species on the steps of Victorian parliament house yesterday.

The vigil was called just four days ago in response the the Victorian and Federal government's decision to extend the East Gippsland Regional Forest Agreement (RFA).

The RFA exempts logging from complying with federal environment laws that protect threatened species. It has been a disaster for forest wildlife and it's extension is set to lock on more legally exempt destruction of critically important habitat.

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Victorian and Federal Governments extend logging agreement with no plan for threatened species

Environment groups are raising concerns about the Victorian and federal governments decision to extend the East Gippsland Regional Forest Agreement (RFA).

The RFA is a 20 year agreement between state and federal governments that exempts logging from complying with Federal environment law. It was first signed in 1997 and expires today.

Logging is exempt from assessments under Federal law on the basis of state based logging regimes implementing measures to protect federally listed threatened species.

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Calls to end logging’s legal exemption

This week a coalition of 25 environment groups is urging Premier Daniel Andrews to abandon his plans to extend the legal exemption given to the native forest logging industry in East Gippsland.

The East Gippsland Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) is a 20-year arrangement between state and federal governments that gives special immunity to the logging industry from Federal environment laws - laws that should protect nationally listed threatened species.  

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Calls for Premier Andrews to make logging comply with federal law

Since the late 1990s the logging industry in Victoria has been exempt from adhering to federal environment laws that protect our nationally threatened wildlife.

Only native forest logging gets this special exemption known as a 'regional forest agreement' (RFA)

In February 2017 the East Gippsland RFA will expire.

It should not be extended.

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Unlawful logging stoped after endangered crayfish find

Logging has been stopped for the second time in one week in the Goongerah forest block.

Last week VicForests were forced to stop logging at Mt. Jersey after GECO raised concerns with the state government about the threat logging posed to the endangered large brown tree frog and the unlawful nature of the operation that had commneced without a survey for protected species.

After exiting Mt. Jersey, VicForests moved into old growth forest on Yalmy rd in the Goongerah water catchment. This coupe is just 1.5kms from  a recent detection of the endangered large brown tree frog and forms important habitat for a number of rare and threatened species. GECO conducted a survey of the creek lines and found several Endangered Orbost Spiny crayfish.

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