Logging to end by 2024! What's next I wonder...
The Premier announced today that native forest logging will cease in Victoria by Jan 1st 2024!
This is a win for the beautiful movement which has showed up for forests for decades! Every single person that came to blockades, lobbied your MP, supported crucial court cases, donated to GECO and other orgs, and surveying for threatened species.
Students at a protest at Yalmy (2005)Read more
Mass survey action planned to contest anti-protest laws
On Saturday May 20th, the day Victoria's anti-protest laws come into effect, a mass survey action has been planned to protect forests, and the right to protest.
Sign up to get involved here and someone will be in touch shortly with more information.
Photo credit Lisa RobertsRead more
Mass meeting endorses a state-wide action for forests
GECO's mass meeting event on Tuesday March 7th, 2023 was designed to build confidence within the environment movement to continue to organise for forests, despite increasing repression. It also proposed a common platform with First Nations struggles and the union movement in how we can continue to work better together for our mutual aims. It was structured in two parts, the first as a forum, the second as a mass meeting. Around 100 participants came in person, with 30 more joining online.
Missed out on the mass meeting? You can still be part of the organising for the motions here.Read more
Sign up for our new Research and Submission group!
The new GECO research and submission group will work within GECO to help us develop strategy, write kick ass government submissions, and bring more stories to the spotlight with journalists this year.
Want to be a part of this initiative?
Go here to sign up!
As part of your expression of interest we will be offering free training in how to use campaign tools, develop strategy, conduct investigative journalism, navigate policy, and how to work with journalists.Read more
Unburnt Errinundra refuge gets some protection!
Remember the Defend Errinundra campaign in 2021, which saw over 15 arrests and stopped logging for 5 months? Well, nearly 9000 ha (or over 4000 MCG’s worth!) of this critical climate refuge has now been put into Special Protection Zones, preventing logging. This is a huge win for the hundreds of people that mobilised to protect this unburnt refuge.
Why GECO fights for all native forests, not just old growth.
As a result of pressure from environment groups, including GECO’s campaign to save Kuark, in early November 2019 Daniel Andrews made the completely false post election declaration that 100% of old growth forest would be protected. It accounted to 90,000 ha at the time.
Amongst other post-election commitments relating to forests, hearing the announcement was hugely relieving. GECO has for decades campaigned to end old growth logging. We thought the trauma of seeing these ancient and complex ecosystems reduced to slash, woodchips, and pulp was ending.
We were so wrong.
Old growth forest in 'No Rush' coupe Swifts Creek, Feb 2022 (before). Photo credit Friends of Bats and Habitat GippslandRead more
East Gippsland's Shire forestry paper supported by both Nationals and greenies?
An interesting predicament for anyone who knows the history of logging in East Gippsland. How could the council have unanimously endorsed a forestry position paper (p133) that both the Nationals and environment groups are both on board with? As it turns out, it's what lens you are using to look at it.
The Nationals are using the paper to push for prolonging the industry - albeit in low volume, high quality output form, while ignoring the environmental outcomes the paper stipulates which is that clearfell logging mush end first. Environmentalists are trying to make sure this and other crucial environmental outcomes are not forgotten in the rush by the Nationals not to seem like greenies.
Overall what the paper proposes is a radical departure from anything council has ever produced on logging. For East Gippsland this is huge. As well as including the end of clearfelling, it also includes the protection of biodiversity, protection of the unburnt, investment in nature based tourism and recreation, and a just transition for all affected communities.Read more
New recommended protections for species post Black Summer. But how good are they?
Immediately after the 2019 - 2020 Black Summer bushfires, the state government rolled over the disastrous Regional Forest Agreements (which commit and define the practice of native forest logging). As part of this roll over the RFAs were required to assess and implement measures to mitigate negative consequences associated with logging (combined with the Black Summer bushfires) on listed threatened species. This resulted in interim protections being applied in October 2020. In April 2022 these protections had the ability to go permanent. 5 months later, recommendations for increased and ongoing protections have finally been handed down.
While the recommendations are a mixed bag, we know that any increase in protections has been the result of hard fought campaigning by GECO supporters and other organisations. Left unchallenged, the industry would have pushed for a business as usual approach. So we need to claim this as a win, while also seeing their shortcomings.
With this in mind, send the environment minister an email and let her know you want all Greater Glider habitat protected now! They need more than just recommendations, they need proper permanent protection!
Image by Justine CallyRead more
From vulnerable to endangered; how the Andrews government has fuelled decline of the Greater Glider
In devastating, but unsurprising news, the iconic Southern Greater Glider was listed as endangered under federal environment laws last week. Native forest logging, climate change, and bushfires were all named as serious threats to the glider which led to the listing.
The Greater Glider was first listed only 6 years ago as vulnerable. In the Guardian coverage Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek said; States would need to evaluate the new expert advice “to determine if changes to their forest management systems are required”. The listing will have little impact on logging regimes unless the Victorian state government acts to properly protect the species by removing logging coupes scheduled in the glider's key habitat.
Under the Andrews government the Greater Glider has gone from vulnerable, to endangered in just 6 years. Protecting all Greater Glider habitat from logging is essential to saving this iconic species before it's driven further to extinction.
Greater Glider captured by Matt Tomkins at GECO's Easter citizen science campRead more
New Laws Criminalise Forest Protestors
On May 24th 2022 Mary-Anne Thomas - Victorian state ALP Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development and Ingrid Stitt - ALP Minister for Workplace Safety, introduced the Sustainable Forests Timber Amendment (Timber Harvesting Safety Zones) Bill 2022 aimed at further criminalising forest protests at logging coupes. These laws follow suit with those introduced in Queensland, NSW, and Tasmania aimed at targeting climate and forest activists with heavy-handed penalties. In Victoria, they are a pre-election gambit aimed at wedging workers against environmentalists, and here's why.
Where do parties stand on forests for the federal election?
While native forest logging is primarily the responsibility of state governments, there is still federal overlap and responsibility. We've produced this scorecard on what the positions are of major parties for forests.
'Defend Errinundra' Official Selection at union sponsored 'Dare to Struggle Film Festival'
GECO's campaign film 'Defend Errinundra' was showcased as part of the official selection of Sydney's Dare to Struggle Film Festival.
Read moreWatch the film 'Defend Errinundra'.
How good was the Easter citizen science camp?
With the added attraction of senior botanist and East Gippsland specialist David Cameron, we had the biggest citizen science camp ever! Over 50 people attended for guided walks, talks & citizen science efforts and surveying. A new layer of people have been recharged and are ready to fight for the forests of East Gippsland!
Thanks so much to everyone who came and got involved. We hold citizen science and skillshare camps 3-4 a times a year - subscribe to our email list to get updates about the next camp!
Volunteers inside the giant 'Cathedral Tree' in the Errinundra. Photo credit: Trudy PhotographyRead more
Devastating post-bushfire logging - 2 years in photos
At the beginning of 2020 we wrote to VicForests CEO Monique Dawson about the devastating ecological impacts of post bushfire logging. She admitted to rejecting the advice from leading expert in the field David Lindenmayer, instead relying on VicForests own determination and enforcement on what they felt had value. For over 2 years they have logged recovering forests without oversight, with impunity, and with the tacit support of the Dan Andrews government.
Since the 2019 - 2020 fires, this is what post-bushfire logging looks like in East Gippsland on Bidewell and Monero Country.
Shocking drone footage reveals the scale of logging devastation in Cann RiverRead more
BREAKING: Victorian government breaks old growth forest promise
Logging started this week in a patch of untouched forests in Swifts Creek on Gunnai Kurnai Country, despite the Andrews government promising to protect all old growth forests in November 2019. Greater Gliders and Yellow-bellied Gliders have also been found in the area, the forests are an island in a sea of fire-impacted forests, and a critical refuge for threatened species.
A number of old growth forest areas have been logged since the government's supposed old growth logging ban.
Take action and call the Environment Minister's office now on 03 9637 9504 and tell her to stop the logging in 'No Rush' coupe in Mt Delusion
Logging in old growth forests on Gunnai Kurnai Country - photos by Friends of Bats and Habitat GippslandRead more