GECO - Goongerah Environment Centre

Media Releases

Please scroll down for our latest media releases.  Our archive contains media releases from 1998-2012, documenting forest destruction and ordinary people's efforts to stop it over 15 years
Media Release: 11 – 12 -2013 Conservationists halt logging in threatened species habitat

Today 40 conservationists are halting logging in a stand of forest that is home to threatened wildlife. Two conservationists are risking arrest as they sit atop tripod structures set up across the road at both access points to the logging zone. Another person has climbed a tree in the middle of the logging operation and is perched on a platform suspended to machinery.

“Today's action is taking place to stop logging of this threatened species habitat. The protection of our native wildlife and the ecosystems they rely on for survival is becoming increasingly critical. Yet the government allows the destruction to continue” Said David Caldwell of Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO).

“Our threatened species risk being driven to extinction. International companies like Nippon Paper and Ta Ann are making a quick dollar while Australia loses it's iconic wildlife forever” said Miranda Gibson of Still Wild Still Threatened.

“Independent surveying of this forest documented video evidence of the endangered long footed potoroo. The very spot where these potoroos were found is now being logged. The destruction of this forest is another example of Australia's threatened species being ignored, for the profit of private companies and at a loss to the public”said Mr Caldwell. “A recent government report indicated that potoroos in this area require three times the amount of suitable habitat than is currently reserved for the species to survive.”

“Yesterday another blow was struck to the already shaky future of the leadbeaters possum.
The dismal of the appeal by My Environment highlights the failure of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act to protect threatened species. This court decision allows the ongoing destruction of leadbeaters habitat, just as forest that is home to long footed potoroo is being logged in East Gippsland.”said Poppy King spokesperson for Central Highlands Action Group (CHAG)

“My recent 14 month long tree sit began after Tasmanian devils were documented in the area which was being logged for timber company Ta Ann. This is exactly what is occurring around the nation as our governments prioritise the profits of a few international companies and fail to protect our threatened species” said Ms Gibson.

For comment contact:

Miranda Gibson David Caldwell

03 51540109
High resolution images and video available 

Tuesday 10December 2013: Woodchip mill protest launches national forest campaign

Thursday 14th March 2013: Media Release

Calls for new Premier to put forest protection on the agenda as old-growth protests stop logging for a second consecutive day

Protests against controversial logging in the old growth forest of Mount Jersey enter their second day today, with one man halting four logging machines. The volunteer conservationists is tied to a tree sit 30m in the air, and is stopping operations for the second consecutive day. He is supported on site by more than a dozen other conservationists in the logging zone.

With the recent departure of Ted Baillieu, and overhaul of the Coalition front bench, conservationists are calling on Premier Napthine to commence his term of leadership on a more forward-thinking note than the destructive environmental legacy of his predecessor, by protecting our dwindling forests.

"This change in leadership is a chance for the Napthine Government to shift away from Baillieu's legacy of forest destruction, and protect Victoria's iconic forests and the threatened species they contain," said spokesperson for the Goongerah Environment Centre, Jo Edwards.

"Victorians are facing an extinction crisis in our publicly owned forests. Protection of forest habitat for endangered wildlife is paramount."

The area has been subject to protest actions since November last year, when logging began in the area. Despite being habitat for the endangered Long Footed Potoroo, nearly 40 hectares have been clearfelled, and another 80 hectares of irreplaceable old growth forest is scheduled to be logged.

"Premier Napthine has the opportunity to be the Victorian Premier who calls a halt to the sale of our forests to prop up an ailing woodchip industry, and protects our unique forests for air, water and wildlife, and the long term tourism potential they present – but only if left standing."

"The diverse, intact ecosystem of Mount Jersey is of extremely high conservation value - too important to log, woodchip and sell to Japanese pulp and paper giant, Nippon Paper, for paper products.”

"Although 37 hectares of this area were lost to logging last year, conservationists will keep vigilant watch to ensure the remaining 79 hectares of Mount Jersey and the rare wildlife it contains are protected," said Ms Edwards.

Wednesday 13th March 2013: Media Release

Wanton Destruction of Ancient Trees

The giant forests of Mount Jersey in East Gippsland have once again become the centre of protest actions today.

A conservationist is suspended in a tree sit, 30 metres high, above an intricate web of cables, halting four logging machines from working in the second of four scheduled old growth logging areas at Mt Jersey.

Home of the Long Footed Potoroo, and classed as a rich bird site, the second of the four logging areas is now under immediate threat from the chainsaw blade.

Since November last year, local conservationists have been measuring the girth of the stumps in the recently completed logging areas in Mount Jersey.

One conservationist, John Flynn stated “We are sickened by the absolute wanton destruction. We measured the circumference of the stumps that remained after the clearfell logging, and they ranged from 7.15m, to 10.9m. These trees where enormous giants.”

The area of old growth forest to be cleared in Mount Jersey totals 116 hectares – which is equivalent to 58 football fields.

Previously, these forest areas were designated as Special Management Zones, but became part of the 2,507 hectares of public forests made available to the logging industry in August last year.

According to the DSE, the legal maximum circumference of trees is a colossal 12.4 metres.

“It is an irrational use of our precious natural resources for trees this large to be cut down, and sent to Nippons woodchip pile, to be exported to Japan for paper products” concluded Jo Edwards, spokesperson for the Goongerah Environment Centre.

Protests are expected to continue

21 January 2013: Media Release


Up to forty conservationists have again entered a logging zone and halted logging operations in controversial forests at Mt. Jersey in the state's far east today. This comes on the back of Friday's announcement by forestry minister Peter Walsh that the Ballieu government will toughen penalties for the state's so-called “public safety zones” to exclude the public from monitoring contentious forestry operations.

The legislation makes it an offence for members of the public to merely be present in the vicinity of a logging operation. This includes people who may wish to visit forest areas for recreation, walking or cycling, as well as anyone monitoring threatened species or documenting logging operations, “Local conservationists have recorded many instances of logging breaches over the years and with the increase of secrecy around controversial logging operations Victorians will know even less about what is actually going on in their publically owned forests,” said spokesperson Emily Black.

“Volunteer wildlife surveyors recently found endangered Long-Footed Potoroo in the vicinity of this logging coupe. Under this new legislation they could potentially be subject to harsher penalties for entering forest areas,” she concluded.

For comment:

Emily Black 03 51540174
Gidja Walker 03 59886529