GECO finalists in UN World Environment Day Awards!

Earlier this month GECOs Citizen Science Program was nominated as a finalist in the 2015 United Nations of Australia World Environment Day Awards. We were urged to apply by the UN for the biodiversity and habitat restoration award, which recognises community groups who have made outstanding contributions to the protection of Victoria's biodiversity. Ironically the Victorian government are threatening to prosecute us for exposing an illegal rainforest logging operation, becuase we entered a 'prohibited area' to do so. So the government want to prosecute us for doing the work the UN want to give us an award for! It's a weird and  whacky world isn't it?!! 


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VicForests to benefit from inclusion of 'wood waste' burning in Renewable Energy Target

Originally published on the ABC website

By Gregg Borschmann and Sara Phillips

Updated 29 May 2015, 8:40am

The revised Renewable Energy Target (RET) currently before Parliament would provide a market for otherwise unsaleable timber, according to a document from Victoria's state-owned forestry business, VicForests, obtained by the ABC.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt introduced the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Bill on Wednesday.

The legislation locks in the bipartisan deal for a new, lower, 2020 Renewable Energy Target.

But, controversially, it reinstates the burning of native forest wood waste as a renewable energy source in the RET scheme.

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Green Group Who Exposed Dodgy Logging Deserving Of Prosecution, Says Minister

Jaala Pulford seems to have lost the plot this week! She was asked questions in parliament about her department (The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources) threatening to prosecute us for entering a logging area where we exposed dodgy rainforest logging, and she said it is "entirely appropriate" for us to be prosecuted!

Despite the Environment Minister condemning the logging and her department thanking us for bringing it to their attention, the Agriculture minister seems hell bent on punishing us for speaking out. She has also said the VicForests operates with 'world's best practice"! We are a bit confused as to how the senseless destruction of rainforest is 'world's best practice'! Read the article published by New Matilda by clicking read more.

Ancient rainforest, illegally logged for no reason and left behind to burn.....................World's best practice Jaala?


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Vic Government Threatens to Prosecute Volunteers who Exposed Illegal Rainforest Logging

The Victorian government has written to members of GECO who did the survey that exposed recent illegal rainforest logging, threatening to prosecute them for entering the logging area!

Unbelievable but true, the government has stooped to new lows here in an attempt to silence us. Click read more to read the New Matilda article below.


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Environment Minister slams VicForests rainforest logging, despite 'inconclusive' evidence.

Olive_cannopy.jpgEnvironment Minster Lisa Neville MP has slammed VicForests conduct in the logging coupe where GECO reported illegal rainforest logging last month. The Minister said she was 'disturbed' by the logging, labeling it 'extremely poor practice'. The investigation into our allegations concluded VicForests retained 'a degree of culpability' as they allowed the unnecessary destruction of rainforest canopy species. See the media reporting here.  The Minister's condemnation comes after the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP), dismissed our allegations of illegal logging, due to what they claim is inconclusive evidence. The department's report concluded that 'due to the highly disturbed nature of the site, a proper physical assessment was not possible'. In other words the evidence had been destroyed! This is typical of the DELWP who go out of their way to let VicForests off the hook and facilitate dodgy logging practices. We are calling for an independent review of the decision and for VicForests to be prosecuted.

DELWP failed to investigate one of the allegations we raised. This was in relation to the illeagl logging of Cool Temperate Mixed Forest ( a type of transitional rainforest that is recognised as as  separate community from rainforest and is listed as threatened under the Flora and Fauna Gaunrantee Act). The Minister has ordered them to investigate this allegation, and so the saga continues.


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Senators Ludlum and Rice tour Kuark Forest with renowned wIlderness photographer Rob Blakers

2015_05_02_Kuark_Websize_27.jpgWe were thrilled to tour Senators Janet Rice and Scott Ludlam through Kuark forest last weekend. Kuark forest is rapidly making a name for itself and the Senators wanted to see some of the spectacular forests that need urgent protection and bear witness to the destruction caused from past and current logging in the area.

The Senators are lobbying against the roll over of the Regional Forest Agreements as the Tasmanian and Victorian agreements come up for review this year. The RFAs are 20-year agreements between State and Federal governments that grant the logging industry access to public forests.  The RFA’s are being reviewed and the federal government want to roll them over and lock in another 20 years of native forest destruction.

Renowned wilderness photographer Rob Blakers was also in Kuark on the tour, see his amazing photos at the Kuark Forest gallery here.

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Kuark Forest Flim Launch

We launched our beautiful new film "Saving Kuark" at Bar 303 in Northcote this week. The film by Melbourne based cinematographer David Franjic was shot at the Camp Kuark citizen science camp in March this year and tells the story of our community based citizen science program in the Kuark forest. Watch the film here



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Endangered Large Brown Tree Frog Rediscovered!

Endangered Large Brown Tree Frog (Litoria littlejohnii), has been  rediscovered by GECO volunteer ecologist Rena Gaborov!

Little_johnii_AS_pic.jpg LBTreeFrog.jpg

The tree frog hadn't been seen for 20 years and was through to have gone extinct until Rena recorded it during a survey for Gliders in April. The government are legally obligated to create a 28 hectare protection zone around the site where the frog was found, however VicForests are allowed to log hundreds of hectares of its habitat within the same catchment. We are currently following up with the government to ensure the protection zone is actually created and lobbying the government to cancel VicForests proposed logging operations within the catchment and the "Green Zone". We'll also be conducting more surveys in the area to better understand where the frog may be living and if it is present in the proposed new logging areas. Come out and give us a hand, particularly if your are a frog expert! Click read more to read a story about this exciting discivery that was published in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.

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Logging Stops in Contentious Rainforest Coupe!

unnamed(2).jpgWe have great news! Logging in the contentious area where we reported rainforest logging has finally stopped!

Thanks for contacting Environment Minister Lisa Neville MP and Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford MP! Our reporting and lobbying combined with the pressure you applied to her office has saved 7 ha of old growth forest that would have otherwise been logged. Well done! The pic above is GECO campaigner Ed Hill, looking pretty stoked to know this massive tree is safe from the chainsaws and bulldozers that have flattened the rest of the forest.

The area left intact is about one quarter of the whole logging coupe, so it's a significant victory for forests. However the logged ancient forest will never come back and the rainforest destruction is a tragedy.

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Illegal Rainforest Logging near Errinundra National Park!


GECO volunteers discovered an illegal rainforest logging operation at Hensleigh ck on the Errinundra Plateau this week. The state owned logging company VicForests have destroyed an entire cool temperate rainforest gully in breach on Victorian law. Rainforest is supposed to be protected under Victorian law. GECO has submitted a detailed report on this illegal destruction to the Victorian government. Read the report here.

Go here to read ABC news coverage.

We are calling on Environment Minister Lisa Neville MP and Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford to step in and stop this illegal  logging operation.  Email and call them today and call on  them to stop the logging at Hensleigh Ck and investigate this appalling destruction.

[email protected] - 03 5248 3462         [email protected] - 03 9637 9940

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Kuark Forest Citizen Science Camp a Huge Success

Camp Kuark threatened species survey weekend was a great success! 40 enthusiastic and energetic people from across Victoria and interstate attended and took part in forest walks, flora surveys, rainforest identification workshops, nocturnal spotlighting and Owl surveys.

It was great to meet so many new people, share with them the beauty of the Kuark forest and inform them about the logging that threatens this incredible forest.


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