We want to say a huge THANK YOU to all the people who wrote to politicians, made submissions, donated, signed petitions, and shared our posts. Thanks to you we’ve had some important wins, and we’re gearing up for another year of campaigning for permanent protection of East Gippsland’s forests.
Here’s a recap of what’s happened over the last year;
The government announced the protection of 90,000ha of old growth forests, but VicForests' have been left in charge of finding and protecting them using an inadequate field verification tool which declassifies old growth forest. The Environment Departments' Office of Conservation Regulator (OCR) are currently seeking feedback on that tool.
Email the OCR now, field verification is only necessary outside the mapping, and VicForests' can't be left to regulate themselves.
UPDATE: Submissions have now closed as of 10 January 2020
The Premier and Environment Minister promised to protect old growth forests, but old growth forests are still being logged right now. We need to know how they're going to stick to their commitment and ban old growth logging for good.
Send the premier and minister an email so they know we expect them to take immediate action to protect old growth forests like they've said.
It’s been an emotional few days following the Victorian government announcement that logging native forests will end in 2030. The government has also committed to state-wide protections for 90,000ha of old growth forests, and 96,000ha of new protected areas, 48,500 of which are in East Gippsland. An action statement for the threatened Greater Glider was also finally released, after two years of inaction following it’s up-listing to threatened in 2017.
Goongerah Environment Centre and Friends of the Earth have today welcomed the Victorian government announcement of protection of 96,000 hectares of forests in eastern Victoria and complete and immediate protection of 90,000 hectares of old growth forest, but say more details and maps are needed to ensure the announcement results in lasting and effective protection.
Last month the environment minister Lily D’Ambrosio abandoned alarming proposed changes to the ‘Code of Practice for Timber Production’ after huge concerns were raised by environment groups. Over a thousand people emailed the minister to scrap the proposed changes, which would have taken an axe to already weak environmental laws, and it worked!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.Read more
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
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.
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.Read more
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.
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.Read more
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.