GECO campaigners Ed Hill and Joe Henderson appeared in the Bairnsdale Magistrates Court today. They’ve been charged with entering a logging area. It is alleged they did so to document and expose logging of protected rainforest.
The charges have now been listed for contested hearing in Court at a later date.
The Victorian Environment Department held an investigation which concluded that an area of protected rainforest had been subject to ‘unnecessary destruction’ by loggers under the control of VicForests.
The authorities found that the rainforest area should not have been logged, but decided not to prosecute those responsible.
However, the Department has now charged those who made the complaint. They allege the community members concerned went on to the logging area when not authorised - albeit when no work was being carried out, and in order to find that logging laws had been breached.
Lawyers from Environment Justice Australia and Fitzroy Legal Service are representing Ed and Joe. Today’s hearing was a contest mention that set the date for the trial of the charges on February 23rd at Orbost Magistrates Court.
We need your help to continue our work protecting threatened forests in East Gippsland.