Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) welcomes East Gippsland Shire Council’s decision on 16 August to adopt a position in relation to the future of East Gippsland’s forests that supports an end to clearfell logging, protection of unburnt forests, and recognizes the impact of climate change on our forests and communities.
They join a number of councils taking a proactive stance on native forest logging including Eurobodalla Shire Council in NSW, who on 9th of August 2022 voted in support of an end to clearfell logging and a just transition to plantation; and South Gippsland Shire who passed a motion on 28th March 2018 to oppose any logging proposed by VicForests.
Quotes attributed to Tuffy Morwitzer, GECO Campaigner
“We congratulate East Gippsland Shire Council on its leadership in recognizing the impact of climate change, bushfire and industrial logging on our forests. For nearly thirty years GECO have been calling for an end to clearfell logging, and advocating for the protection of our ecosystems. Since the catastrophic bushfires, there is a pressing need to protect unburnt areas. We are pleased to see this is now supported by Council.”
“The need to realise the universal value of forests across our communities has been highlighted by the Shire, both in inviting diverse community interests to present to them as well as the creation of this new forest plan. Good environmental outcomes are important for people in East Gippsland, and that has finally been represented.”
“We support East Gippsland Shire Council in their call for the Victorian Government to fund a just transition for all communities affected, whether small or large, including the creation of long-term, sustainable green jobs that regenerate, restore and protect East Gippsland’s unique forest estate. ”
The position adopted states that:
- Council advocates that the practice of clear-fell native timber harvesting be replaced as soon as practical
- Climate change will increase the likelihood and impact of future landscape scale bushfires
- Historical timber harvesting rates and approaches are seen as not sustainable, particularly in the context of climate change (and increasing risk of fire) and demand for increased protection of biodiversity values.
- That those areas of particular biodiversity, historic or other value that have not been subject to recent intense fires and have not been subject to timber harvesting are protected
- That harvested material that is suitable for use as sawlogs is not directed lower value uses such as wood chip or use as pulp.
- Council calls on the Victorian Government to review the current arrangements that see significant quantities of timber and wood chip exported for use overseas
- It is critical that any native timber harvesting, and more generally, forest management, is environmentally sustainable, protects the integrity of ecosystems and the special places and species of our forests, responds to a changing climate and complies with the law.
To see the East Gippsland Shire Council’s position paper go to p133 - https://www.eastgippsland.vic.gov.au/council/meeting-minutes-and-agendas
To see Eurobodalla Shire Council’s motion go to p9 -
For South Gippsland Shire Council’s motion go to p96 - https://www.southgippsland.vic.gov.au/meetings/meeting/106/council_meetings_-_agendas_and_minutes
For more information contact:
0493 524 913