Rare Satinwood under threat from logging at Mt. Buck rainforest

Geco citizen scientists have discovered the rare Satanwood (Nematolepis squamea subsp. Squamea) plant within a rainforest site of significance about to be logged by Vicforests in East Gippsland

SatinWoodMt Buck Rainforest

As we write, Less than 2000 individual Satinwood plants are known to exist in Victoria. With this population the only known occurrence outside of reserves, much of which is about to be logged by Vicforests.

Geco have written a report on the discovery and told the government that this rare plant must be saved.

 

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Environment Department Takes Axe to Environment Protections

Nature conservation groups are alarmed at proposed changes to critical rules to protect forest wildlife and cultural heritage from logging.

The Code of Practice for Timber Production (the Code) is the key regulatory tool used to manage native forest logging in Victoria.

Proposed changes to the Code have been released for public comment by the state Environment Department—and they have set off alarm bells for conservationists.

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Environment department plan to cut forest protections

UPDATE: The Minster has announced the Code review consultation has been withdrawn and acknowledged there are legitimate concerns around the draft changes. We raised our voices and she listened.

It's really important that future changes to logging regulations strengthen environmental protections, not weaken them as the environment department had intended. Send the Minsiter a personal email calling on her to ensure protections for the environment and wildlife are strengthened, including for the Greater Gliders, rainforests and old growth forests. 

Email: lily.dambrosio@parliament.vic.gov.au


The Victorian Environment Department (DELWP) is proposing huge changes to the way our forest wildlife is protected from logging. The Code of Practice for Timber Production sets rules and standards that the logging industry must meet and the environment department must enforce.

The Code is currently under review and the department are proposing sweeping changes, including a proposed deletion of more than 400 specific protection rules for the environment.

These changes would be a disaster for precious old growth forests, habitat for threatened wildlife and rare and endangered ecosystems.

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Gov’t survey shows public support forest protection, not logging

Results of a public survey conducted by the Victorian government show overwhelming support for protecting native forests from logging and provide the Andrews Labor government with a strong platform to protect forests and transition jobs out of the native forest logging sector, say environment groups.  

  • Survey shows Victorian public say future of industry is in plantations
  • Victorians support protecting forests and improved forest recreation opportunities
  • Results show no need to continue with failed Regional Forest Agreements 

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Cottonwood range Greater Glider habitat getting the chop

An important hot spot for the threatened Greater Glider is being logged. Logging by VicForests in the 'Shazam' coupe in the Cottonwood range on the Errinundra plateau near the town of Bendoc in East Gippsland begun over two weeks ago. The forest supports many large old trees with hollows that form important habitat for a population of Greater Gliders. The forest was featured in our recently released research report 'Gliding towards extinction' report as a example of documented Greater Glider habitat that is threatened by logging. 

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Report shows damning destruction of Greater Glider habitat

Our latest report has been published documenting logging of more than 600 hectares of Greater Glider habitat since the species was listed as vulnerable under Victorian legislation in June 2017. 

Gliding towards extinction - an investigation into Greater Glider habitat logged since the species was listed as threatened under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act highlights how government inaction and failing environmental laws are having dire consequences for forest dependent threatened species in Victoria.

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Pressure on Labor to protect forests as flying possum glides towards extinction

More than 600 hectares of known Greater Glider habitat has been logged since the animal was listed as vulnerable to extinction under Victorian law and thousands of hectares are planned to be logged, research by environment groups has found.

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Andrews government logging plan to accelerate extinction and old growth forest destruction

The Andrews Labor government’s release of a new logging plan will hasten the decline of Australia’s largest gliding marsupial the Greater Glider, says Goongerah Environment Centre Office (GECO).   

In June 2017 the Greater Glider was listed as vulnerable to extinction under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act but nearly two years later a legally required action plan that is supposed to outline protection measures has not been released.  

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Rainforest illegally logged at Tonghi creek

Protected rainforest and rainforest buffers have been illegally logged by VicForests near Tonghi Creek in far East Gippsland. Logging by VicForests in coupe 868-506-0009 "Granton Road" has impacted on rainforest in numerous locations a several hectares of forest that should have been protected in a rainforest buffer has been logged.  

We have reported the breach to the regulator Department of Environment Land Water and Planning and written to the Office of Conservation Regulation. 

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Response to independent review of logging regulation GECO / TWS / FoE

The Wilderness Society and Goongerah Environment Centre and Friends of the Earth

Independent Review of Timber Harvesting Regulation ​joint ​​response 

 

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Damning logging report finds Victorian department neither 'effective nor respected'

First published in The Guardian by Lisa Cox

Victoria’s environment department has been so ineffective at regulating logging in state forests that the government-owned forestry enterprise VicForests has effectively been left to self-regulate, according to an independent review.

The report, quietly released on the day of the school climate strikes and the Christchurch terror attack, finds the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning is “neither an effective nor respected regulator” and the state’s logging regime is “dated, complex, convoluted – indeed labyrinthine – and difficult to use”.

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9 out of 10 trees woodchipped on Labor's proposed hiking trail

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. 

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Government fights to continue old growth logging as Supreme Court trial continues

This morning, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) will defend the Government’s continued logging of old growth forests in the face of vehement community opposition, as the trial Fauna and Flora Research Collective Inc  v The Secretary to DELWP and VicForests resumes in Victoria’s Supreme Court, for its final 3 days.

Fauna and Flora Research Collective (FFRC) -  represented by Environmental Justice Australia -  is seeking to enforce the protection of the minimum area of old-growth forest required by law across East Gippsland (60% of old growth wet and damp forest), a measure the Government has failed to implement.

An old growth tree in Granite Mountain logging coupe
An ancient tree inside the Granite Mountain coupe currently being logged.

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Labor's 'sea to summit' hike trail being clearfelled before it's built

First published in The Age - February 13th 2019

Remote Victorian forest the Andrews government promised just days before the state election would become home to a future “world-class hiking trail” is already being cleared for timber, with the state's forestry corporation insisting it was not told about the pledge.

Conservation advocates said the clearfelling risks ruining the forest walk before it even opens, but VicForests has hit back, saying that it was not consulted about the promised trail, which runs through dozens of areas where it has already signed contracts for timber harvesting.

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Greater Glider find exposes failed government survey program

Rare and threatened Greater Gliders have been found by community surveys at Granite Mountain on the Errinundra plateau this week. The old growth forest has been at the centre of controversy since logging begun in late January.

Over 4000 people have emailed Premier Daniel Andrews calling on him to act to stop the logging and protect East Gippsland's forests. Direct action group Forest conservation Victoria established a blockade of the forest on Monday that has stopped logging for the past 5 days. 

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