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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 VicForestsRead more
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Threatened Species Day statement - Decisive action needed to protect Threatened Species from logging
Victorian environment groups are marking National Threatened Species Day by calling on the Andrews Labor government to take decisive action to protect forest wildlife from logging and fast track a long overdue action plan for the vulnerable Greater Glider.
Concerns are being raised that despite Premier Andrews Forest Industry Taskforce reaching key agreements on the urgent need to protect forests and threatened species habitats, logging has continued unabated in critical habitat.
Image: Recent logging of Greater Glider habitat in East GippslandRead more
To mark National Threatened Species Day 2018 we’ve created the Ending Extinction Bill.
We’re showing leadership because our political representatives are failing to.
The Bill calls for strong protections for Victoria’s threatened species and a raft of measures that will stop rare plants and animals sliding further towards extinction.Read more
Charges against state owned logging company VicForests relating to logging of protected rainforest in East Gippsland have been thrown out by the Melbourne Magistrates court today.
VicForests contested the charges arguing the charge sheet prepared by the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP) did not specify the precise nature of the charges.
Charges were laid by DELWP after a Sunday age investigation revealed the department’s systemic failure to enforce rainforest protection legislation.
The logged rainforest near Cann River that led to criminal charges