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189 community members oppose Victoria’s anti-protest laws - the day they came into effect.

Victoria’s anti-protest laws targeting forest protectors were contested through a state-wide survey action for threatened flora and fauna yesterday. 

Under new laws that came in yesterday, people conducting surveys within a safety harvest zone may receive fines up to $11,095.20, which they could receive in the mail anytime within the next 12 months. All surveys were conducted in areas where a “Timber Harvesting Safety Zone” (public exclusion zone) is either already in place or where one could be applied any day. The new laws also increase the maximum penalty to $22 120 or 1 year gaol term if found with a prohibited device within a THSZ.

Flora and fauna surveys took place at five sites across Victoria: in Wombat State Forest, Toolangi, Alberton West, Powelltown, and Colquhoun forest in East Gippsland. Surveyors found endangered Greater Gliders, koalas, endangered Tree Geebungs (an old growth understory plant) and a critically endangered Leadbeater’s possum. Over 130 plant and fungi observations were recorded on the iNaturalist app.  All of today’s surveys were conducted in areas where a “Timber Harvesting Safety Zone” is either already in place or where one could be applied any day. 

Police were present at the protest in Wombat but did not issue on-the-spot fines. Four Greens MPs were among those who illegally entered a THSZ in Wombat State Forest to survey for plant species. 


Amy Calton from Wombat Action Group states:

Protest must be protected, especially within a climate crisis. The government must repeal these outrageous laws and take meaningful action to protect the environment.“


Tuffy Morwitzer, from the Goongerah Environment Centre states:

“We must end logging immediately and invest in conservation efforts to build back everything the industry has destroyed - exactly the kind of work citizen scientists were doing today by surveying.” 


Felicity Law from Extinction Rebellion states:

“At this critical time as we face climate catastrophe and as forest species plummet towards extinction we need forests protected.”


Media contact:


Tuffy Morwiter - [email protected] - 0493 524 913

Campaigner for the Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO). 

GECO ran the longest forest blockade in Australian history (Goolengook), and has run citizen science camps for the last 8 years.


Amy Calton - [email protected] - 0491 814 052

Facilitator of the Wombat Action Group (WAG)

WAG is a grassroots advocacy group campaigning to protect Wombat State Forest by engaging, educating and empowering the community to take direct action for forests.


Felicity Law - 0423 109 765

Spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion

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