20 conservationists from Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) have re-established a forest blockade in the Kuark forest to the north east of Orbost in East Gippsland.
Last week logging was stopped for four days by a person in a tree platform tied to logging machinery. This morning a person is positioned 8m above the ground on a timber tripod, blocking access to the contentious logging coupe. Another person is positioned up a large timber pole attached to logging machines, which is preventing logging from continuing.
“VicForests has failed to follow the logging rules that require a threatened species survey before logging. VicForests claim the area is not threatened species habitat, however our citizen science surveys have detected the endangered Long-footed potoroo and the critically endangered East Gippsland galaxias fish, that is found nowhere else on earth other than the Kuark forest,” said GECO spokesperson Ed Hill.
“We’ve detected two separate populations of the critically endangered fish in two creek systems within the logging coupe and submitted the information to the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP). Despite a clearly worded rules within the regulatory framework, the DELWP are refusing to implement habitat management actions for this critically endangered species,” Ed Hill
Environment Minister Lisa Neville must pull her Department into line and make them to do their job as regulators of the logging industry, who are supposed to enforce the logging rules. It appears her department is prioritising the protection of VicForests’ logging operations over the protection of endangered species, ‘ said Ed Hill.
“Kuark forest is rich in unique fauna, rainforest and several threatened species found nowhere else on earth. Kuark forest urgently needs to be protected as a biodiversity corridor linking the mountain environments of Errinundra National Park to the coast. Kuark could be a tourism icon, if given the protection it deserves.” said Ed Hill.
Media contact: Ed Hill – 0414 199 645, [email protected]