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.
The old growth forest in the ‘Princess Cut’ logging coupe in the Kuark forest, 40 kms north east of Orbost, has never been logged before and is part of a large area of rare intact old growth forest that conservationists are campaigning to protect.
A person is suspended in a hammock hanging from a timber tripod that is blocking the access to the logging area. Since Monday last week Over 6300 people have sent emails to Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio calling on her to protect the old growth forest and prevent planned logging in the area.
“Logging in this irreplaceable ancient forest would be a tragic loss for Victoria and people from across the state are converging in the Kuark forest to take peaceful direct action to prevent the destruction,” said Goongerah Environment Centre spokesperson Ed Hill.
“People are willing to stay here for as long long as it takes and risk arrest to prevent logging of this precious area. This old growth forest is home to trees that are hundreds of years old, its very rare to still be able to find unlogged intact old growth forest in East Gippsland. These forests provide a unique window of insight into what Victoria’s forests looked like prior to European settlement,” said Ed Hill.
“It’s not the 1920s anymore, we don’t need to be logging untouched old growth forests. Logging of Victoria’s last remaining remnant areas of ancient forest does not belong in the 21st century. It’s astonishing that Labor are still allowing old growth logging in 2017. Daniel Andrews and Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio should seize this opportunity to protect old growth forests and urgently need to act on the concerns of over 6000 people who have contacted them in the last 7 days calling for protection of this irreplaceable ancient forest.”
“East Gippsland is the Victorian stronghold for old growth forest, rainforest and biodiversity. It’s the only place on mainland Australia where intact forests stretch from the alps to the coast. We are so lucky to still have old growth forests in this region and to continue to destroy them, for low value paper and wood products is incredibly short sighted.”
“Labor’s logging is destroying endangered wildlife habitat, old growth forest, valuable carbon sinks and precious rainforest areas, their policy belongs in the 1950’s not in a socially progressive modern Victoria, they must show leadership on this issue,” said Ed Hill.
“The Minster tweeted that old growth forest and trees greater than 2.5 m in diameter will be protected but has failed to provide any information about this to environment groups who have been lobbying for protection of this forest. Meanwhile VicForests has confirmed logging will commence tomorrow. Any logging in this area will cause irreversible damage to this delicate ecosystem. Leaving a few trees and logging and burning around the edges of them is not protecting old growth forest. We will be here to prevent logging from taking place by taking peaceful direct action in a last ditch effort to protect this spectacular ancient forest,” said Ed Hill.
Media contact Ed Hill : 0414 199 645 www.geco.org.au