Most trees currently being logged along the route of the proposed Sea to Summit hiking trail are being wood chipped and exported. Planning documents produced by government logging agency VicForests reveal 88% of logs from the 'Smoko' coupe are pulp grade.
In February concerns were raised over logging occurring directly on the route of Labor's planned Sea to Summit hiking trail that was announced as a pre election commitment in November 2018.
The Age newspaper published this story. Labor's Sea to Summit hike trail being clearfelled before it's built.
The 120-kilometre trail would extend from the Cape Conran Coastal Park to the summit of Mount Ellery and the alpine forests of the Errinundra Plateau, meandering through some of the state’s largest remaining areas of unspoiled wilderness
The Sea to Summit trail is a component of the Emerald Link proposal, jointly developed by the Wilderness Society and GECO.
The Emerald Link seeks to create a continuous network of protected forests from the Australian Alps to the East Gippsland Coast and make the far East Gippsland region Victoria's premier wilderness tourism destination.
VicForests logging plans reveal 88% of trees cut in the logging coupe on the route of the planned trail are low grade pulp logs. These logs will be chipped and exported from Eden NSW at Allied Natural Wood Products chip mill.
VicForests plans show that most of the timber volume is estimated to be 'M' or 'H' grade (medium or high quality pulp). About 9 out of 10 trees will be woodchipped.
Precious forests in East Gippsland are still being logged for woodchips. The Sea to Summit trail presents a great opportunity to create decent, safe and secure jobs in East Gippsland. The economic value of East Gippsland's forests is far greater as a tourist trail than as woodchips exported to Asia.
Just days before the election Labor told voters it would commit funds to plan and establish the trail, but before planning is even underway their logging agency is destroying the forests that the proposed trail would showcase.
No one wants to visit and walk through logged and burnt forests.
VicForests is out of control, they are undermining the government's commitment to establish the trail and trashing precious forests that should be protected to provide a long term sustainable economic future for the region.
Premier Andrews' government must pull their agency into line and direct them to immediately stop logging.
East Gippsland is the only place on mainland Australia with intact forests that run uninterrupted from alpine environments to the coast. The Sea to Summit Trail will showcase this world class landscape, but unless these forests are protected from logging this precious and unique environment is gravely threatened.