ABC 5 October 2005
Anti-logging protesters are putting their case to Melbourne commuters to stop old-growth logging in East Gippsland.
The protesters have set up a tree platform in a large gum tree at the corner of Swanston Street and Cemetery Road in Carlton.
They are targeting the logging in the Dingo Creek area on the Errinundra Plateau north of Orbost, in the state's east.
A spokeswoman for the group, Danya Bryx, says it is a rainforest area of national significance.
"I think you've just got to go out and look at these areas," she said.
"I mean, looking at [the] Dingo Creek area at the moment and it's devastating and there's no way that you can say from looking at that area that the species that once used that area as their habitat are going to be able to continue to do that."
Environmentalists are today increasing the pressure on the Bracks government to immediately cease logging at Dingo Creek, a Rainforest Site of National Significance.
Protests in both Melbourne and in the forests in East Gippsland coincide to call for immediate protection of the area.
One activist spent last night 15 meters off the ground on a platform strung in the canopy of a Melbourne Eucalypt to highlight the current clearfell logging of endangered species' habitat.
"Current clearfell logging at Dingo Creek, a Rainforest Site of National Significance in East Gippsland, and habitat for several listed endangered species including the Powerful Owl, is yet another example of this government's shameful record on forestry matters", said spokesperson Danya Bryx, "the public demands that Bracks act to protect these irreplaceable forests."
The symbolic action is aimed at raising the profile of East Gippsland's forests, and steps up pressure on the Bracks Government to put an end to old growth and rainforest logging before the next election.
"Despite government rhetoric to the contrary, rainforest sites of significance as well as important habitat and old growth forests are not protected by the current reserve system, a comprehensive shift in the Bracks forest policy is well overdue," said spokesperson Raj Ruthirathas.
"The fact that areas of such high conservation value are legal logging coupes demonstrates the problems in the Government's classification system, and the inadequacy of current conservation and biodiversity laws." Said spokesperson David Hammerton.
Two protesters were arrested last week while locked to machinery at Dingo Creek in an effort to halt logging operations. The area gained infamy last year when two environmentalists contested the legality of logging at the site, taking the matter to the Supreme Court.
|Dingo Creek September 2005||Big stump in the logging coupe||Coupe 13 - National Park boundary to the right of the photo|
|The log dump||Coupe 13 - the next coupe to be done is in the background||Timber Release Plan map with co-ordinates drawn in - coupe 522-13 is currently being logged.|
Four protesters were arrested today after being removed from logging machinery which they had been locked to for two days. They were preventing logging from taking place at controversial Dingo Creek in East Gippsland. The four were part of a larger group who were protesting against logging in old growth forest and rainforest. The group has been removed from the logging coupe by police. Logging has now recommenced in the area, which has been the site of protest activity for a number of years.
Dingo Creek is old growth forest in a national site of significance for rainforest. It was the subject of a recent Supreme Court case, yet no definitive decision on the legality of this logging has been made.
“Areas such as Dingo Creek simply should not be logged. This is a place, bordering the Errinundra National Park, that contains old growth forest and rainforest, as well as being endangered species habitat. Premier Steve Bracks must act to protect all old growth forest and rainforest or he can expect such protest activity to continue,” said spokesperson for the protesters Fiona York.
Four protesters have locked themselves to two logging machines in a bid to halt logging at Dingo Creek, East Gippsland. Logging has currently ceased in the area. Dingo Creek is in a national site of significance for rainforest and logging in the area has been the site of protest activity for a number of years.
“These areas simply should not be logged. Premier Steve Bracks must act to protect all old growth forest and rainforest or he can expect such protest activity to continue,” said spokesperson for the protesters Fiona York
|Logging at Dingo Ck - southern edge of the coupe, adjacent to the Errinundra NP||Rainforest logging - bulldozed through the middle of a "filter strip", with rainforest clearly in background||The remains of a Southern Sassafras, indictor species for cool temperate rainforest|
|Stump in the log landing with the coupe name and number - "Going South" 892-522-0013||Machinery at work in the coupe - two excavators and a bulldozer hard at it, destroying rainforest and old growth forest||The edge of the coupe, with a bulldozer track around it, adjacent to the Errinundra NP|
|The signs keeping the public out - new legislation enacted to prevent public scrutiny of forest destruction||The end of the line - the remainder of the coupe is beyond this point, towards the Errinundra NP||Rainforest in background, all that remains in the foreground is the trashed wasteland of Dingo Ck|
Logging has commenced in a National Site of Significance for Rainforest, on the Errinundra Plateau in Far East Gippsland. This is despite the fact that an Action Statement for Rainforest Protection is incomplete, and currently in the public consultation phase. The Action Statement has the potential to provide stronger protection for rainforest. The area of rainforest at Dingo Creek has been the subject of recent court action in the Supreme Court.
The coupe is being logged by a crew from NSW and one log loads have been seen leaving Victoria to be processed across the border. This is at a time when Victorian mills have been threatened with closure due to lack of supply.
"Vicforests is being extremely provocative by allowing the logging of an icon area of rainforest while the future of rainforest logging is under review. And to make matters worse, the last of our old growth forest is leaving the state with absolutely no benefit to Victorians. It is time this rogue department was called to account for such short-sighted and distasteful behaviour," said spokesperson for a local Environment Centre, Fiona York
Dingo Creek contains old growth forest and rainforest, and is home to anumber of endangered species.
For more information
Dingo Creek is being logged. It is a National Site of Significance for Rainforest and contains powerful owl habitat. It is surrounded by the Errinundra National Park. Already a 10 ha coupe (842/522/11) has been completed, and they are currently logging a 30ha coupe, which goes down to the border of the National Park. The coupe number for the current coupe is 842/522/13. This was part of the route for the Errinundra Adventure walks in January 2004.
Click here for how to make a submission on the Draft Action Statement for Rainforest.