Andrews government rushing through major changes to weaken logging laws
Alarming changes to the Code of Practice, or "the Code" are being rushed through by the Andrews government. The Environment Department have given communities less than a month to respond to the changes which are spread out over more than 350 pages of documents.
Submissions have officially closed, but you can keeping sending them directly to the Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio. Check out the Friends of the Earth guide and example submission.
Don't have time to make a submission? Victorian National Park Association (VNPA) have set up an easy email action here.
Forests in Swifts Creek, Credit: Friends of Bats and Habitat GippslandRead more
Government says logging in East Gippsland should stop but stalls on forest protections
The state and federal governments have finally agreed to conduct a Major Event Review into the impacts of the 2019/2020 bushfires, but a confidential document obtained by GECO through Freedom of Information reveals the Environment Department has already told state-owned VicForests to postpone all logging in East Gippsland. The hushed up recommendation was given more than 6 months ago, but logging has continued in East Gippsland in and outside the fire extent.
In the document the Department identifies specific areas where they've said VicForests shouldn't be logging which fall in the top 20% of habitat remaining for priority species impacted by the fires, some of which have already been logged in the last few months. We worked with The Guardian to break the story, read and share the coverage here.
Logging in key unburnt forests in the Colquhoun state forest on the doorstep of Lakes Entrance, East GippslandRead more
East Gippsland's forests under threat & a free pass for illegal logging
Email the Victorian gov, moratorium until there's action for threatened wildlife
Despite this summer's terrible bushfires, the government are rushing in to log fire-damaged forests, and precious unburnt areas under the renewed legal exemptions for the logging industry from national environment laws.
Thanks to thousands of Victorian's like you emailing the government and engaging in the RFA review process, important new clauses have been added to the agreements.
In the absence of scrapping the dodgy exemptions, the Victorian government has made commitments to:
1. Conduct risk assessments for all listed threatened species by October this year
2. Consider the impacts of climate change on vulnerable species
3. Review the current reserve system and update state environment laws
4. Conduct a major event review to consider the impacts of this summer's bushfires
We expect all these commitments to be conducted by independent scientific experts, in consultation with the community, and result in strengthened protections for threatened species.
Until the commitments are met, we're calling for an immediate moratorium on logging across Victoria. The government cannot continue logging wildlife habitat and threatened ecosystems after the devastating bushfires before new and stronger protections are implemented. Join us in calling for better protections for wildlife.
Victorian government to log thousands of hectares of fire damaged forests
The Andrews government logging agency VicForests have written to Goongerah Environment Centre outlining plans to log thousands of hectares of forests affected by the 2019/2020 bushfires in East Gippsland, despite the known devastating ecological impacts of salvage logging. The government's own regulator is working with VicForests to give them the green light to salvage log, despite overwhelming scientific evidence that this will cause severe ecological harm. The Age have reported here.
Logging is well underway in fire-affected forests south of the Alpine National Park
Email the Premier to protect forests, and rule out salvage logging
In November 2019 the Daniel Andrews government announced a commitment for all logging in native forests across the state to stop by 2030. Now this summer’s fires have added an urgent need to protect what remains. The ecological devastation of the bushfires has been clearly laid out in a leaked report, species are likely to already be extinct as a result of the fires. Meanwhile the logging industry is calling for funding to salvage log burnt forests.
Take action and send an email to the Premier
Vic govt takes positive and welcome first step to protect native forests
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.
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.
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.
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.