Government officials from the Department of Economic Development Jobs Transport (DEDJTR) and Resources are expected to break up a forest blockade this morning in far East Gippsland. Four cars carrying 6 authorised officers from the department and one local police officer are on the site this morning.
Conservationists from the Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) established the blockade ten days ago to halt logging in an untouched area of old growth forest on Granite Mountain. A person is risking arrest, suspended in a hammock hanging from a 10m tall tripod structure that is blocking access to the logging site. Logging has been unable to proceed since the protest begun.
“The forest here on Granite Mountain remains in an untouched state, giant trees have survived here for centuries, and it’s a rare example of what Victoria’s forests were like hundreds of years ago. We’ve lost so much of our old growth forests in Victoria, to continue to log these precious areas well into the 21st century is disgraceful,” said GECO spokesperson Ed Hill.
“Trees in this forest are older than the state of Victoria, they are the heritage of all Victorians, but in 2018 the Andrews’ Labor government continue log them for low value paper and wood products”
“The overwhelming majority of Victorian’s want to see East Gippsland’s old growth forests protected from logging, yet the Andrew’s Labor government are using state force and public money to remove peaceful protestors and help facilitate the destruction of this untouched ancient forest,” said Ed Hill.
“Victoria is one of the most cleared state in Australia, here in East Gippsland we’re lucky enough to still have old growth forests. These forests are globally significant and highly valuable environmental assets, to destroy them for low value wood and paper products is woefully short sighted.”
“Logging in East Gippsland is driving endangered wildlife to extinction, destroying valuable carbon stores and losing up to $5.5 million dollars of public money a year. This economically unviable industry is causing irreversible damage to our environment at a massive cost to the tax payer.”
“Labor must show leadership by protecting our forests in new parks and reserves and providing economic assistance to transition the industry into plantations,” said Ed Hill.
“The Andrew’s government must lift its game on environment policy, of all Victorian premiers Andrew’s has the worst record of national park creation in history. Despite overwhelming public support for the protection of our forests, after three years in government logging of endangered species habitat and old growth remains common place. Labor must take urgent steps to protect our native forests or face an inevitable backlash from voters at this year’s state election,” said Ed Hill.
High resolution stills and vision available on request
Media contact: Ed Hill - 0414 199 645 [email protected]