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”.

Read more
2 reactions Share

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. 

Read more
1 reaction Share

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.

Read more
1 reaction Share

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.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

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. 

Read more
1 reaction Share

Old growth forest is being logged - take action!

   

East Gippsland's old growth forests are being destroyed by logging. 

Please support the protection of East Gippsland's forests and wildlife. Email Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews now.

We need to pile on the pressure and make the government act.

6 reactions Share

Victorian government says old growth logging should stop

A Supreme Court case has offered a glimmer of hope for East Gippsland's old growth forests as 2018 draws to a close.

Our friends Fauna and Flora Research Collective (FFRC) are suing the state government for failing to meet their legal obligations to protect old growth forests.

This week the Vic environment department told the court that logging in ALL old growth forest should stop!

Read more here on The Guardian website

Read more
1 reaction Share

Next steps for Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio

Goongerah Environment Centre welcomes the re-appointment of Lily D’Ambrosio as Minister for Environment in the Andrews government cabinet. The government must do more to protect Victoria’s forests and we believe the Minister recognises this.

We look forward to working constructively with Minister D’Ambrosio to ensure that meaningful protection of Victoria’s native forests is achieved and that VicForests and the Department of Environment will be held fully accountable for logging operations that have breached environmental protection laws.

There are a number of environmental issues that remain unfinished business from the previous term of the Andrews government. Minister D’Ambrosio has responsibility for these issues so we’ve put together a ‘to do list’ for the Minister. First on the list are tasks to complete within the first 100 days of government, second on the list are actions that must be taken in the long term.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Victorian Govt’s daft ‘fuzzy map’ excuse could mean all logging illegal

The Victorian Government’s daft “fuzzy map” excuse for VicForests logging outside its allocated forest area could mean that all VicForests’ logging in the past five years may be unlawful.

The Andrews Labor Government told the ABC, which broke the story of the illegal logging,[i] that it’s not possible to tell whether its own logging agency, VicForests, is compliant with the law due to a fuzzy map.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Calls for VicForests to be abolished after forest theft exposed

Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) and Friends of the Earth are today calling on the next Victorian government to abolish state owned logging agency VicForests and formally protect Victoria’s forests from logging after a special investigation by ABC news has revealed hundreds of areas of native forest have been logged in areas that VicForests is not permitted to operate.

Tonight on 7:30 the ABC will detail widespread and systematic unlawful logging occurring across eastern Victoria under successive governments. 

Logging in one of the areas not allocated to VicForests

Read more
1 reaction Share

Forests Around Planned Sea To Summit Hiking Trail Must Be Protected

Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) and the Wilderness Society today expressed serious concerns about continued logging of old and rare forests in East Gippsland, as the Andrews government announced that if re-elected, they will commence planning for a multi-day Sea to Summit hiking trail route in far East Gippsland.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Poll tells Andrews Government that Victorians want forests protected not logged

The vast majority of Victorians want state forests protected, not logged and woodchipped, and Victorians want workers supported while leaving the industry, according to polling in three key marginal seats three weeks out from the Victorian state election. 

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Failed forestry audit must lead to native forest protection

Victorian environment groups are renewing calls for the creation of new parks and reserves to protect native forests from logging after the release of an audit report revealing state owned logging agency VicForests has failed to achieve the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certificate.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

VicForests fails to get green tick

VicForests has failed to achieve the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) green tick. The final audit report by SCS Global has been released citing numerous major non conformances to the FSC standards. Logging and burning of old growth forest and threatened and protected species habitat, rainforest logging, intensive clear fell logging and breaches of the environmental laws were cited as reasons why the state owned logging agency should not be granted the FSC controlled wood tick of approval.  

 

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Victorian government review of logging regulation welcome

Goongerah Environment Centre and Friends of the Earth have welcomed the announcement of an independent inquiry into the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning’s (DELWP) regulation of logging in Victoria. 

Friends of the Earth and GECO spokesperson Ed Hill said: “Under DELWP’s approach to regulation of logging, scientific advice is rejected, the community is sidelined and not listened to, laws are ignored and hundreds of excuses are generated as to why no regulatory action can be taken.”

Read more
1 reaction Share

Donate