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
Old growth forest case heats up, Department's witness admits their tool is faulty
Last month community group Fauna and Flora Research Collective (FFRC) were back in court for two days for the second trial of their old growth forest court case. The last two days are scheduled for next week and Environmental Justice Australia (EJA) who are representing FFRC are gearing up to cross-examine the VicForests witness and put in their closing submissions. FFRC will also be calling their final witness, an expert on forest ecology and botany.
With only two days left of the trial, FFRC need to raise money to get over the final hurdle for the fight for old growth forest protection. These ancient forests need your help, please donate now.
Environment Department fails to put in proper rainforest protections on Mt Jersey
GECO citizen scientists have discovered the Environment Department has failed to put in proper buffers for an area of cool-temperate rainforest on Mt Jersey in East Gippsland currently being logged. Rainforest stands are meant to be given a 100m Special Protection Zone (SPZ) buffer, a requirement by law which the Environment Department is responsible for implementing. VicForests has already logged within the area which should have been afforded protection. The forests are fire-affected but recovering, citizen scientists have observed and documented rainforest species like Sassafrass and Black Olive Berry re-sprouting. Read the report we submitted to the Department here.
Join us this Saturday for an online update of what's happening on the ground in East Gippsland, and how you can get involved. RSVP here.
Recovering cool-temperate rainforest, Mt Jersey East GippslandRead more
Email the Minister, her Department has failed to protect forests and wildlife
The Department has failed to put in the proper protections for a Large Brown Tree Frog detection on Mt Jersey. We're sick of the Department failing to regulate the rogue loggers, they need to charge VicForests and start acting to protect forests and wildlife, not look after the interests of the logging industry.
Take action now, email Minister D'Ambrosio to push her Department to take action
Environment Dept. allow VF contractors to go rogue on roadside clearing
Roadside clearing operations on the Princes Highway are complete, and now along hundreds of kilometres of tracks through burnt and unburnt forests, roadside logging is well underway. VicForests cowboys have been contracted by the Environment Department for hazardous tree removal, and they've been given the green light to ‘salvage’ those trees from the road-clearing effort. But over-zealous roadside clearing and tree removal is happening, and according to reports only a small portion of trees being taken are actually hazardous. It’s very unclear as to what environmental regulations and assessments are being done to ensure that only dangerous trees are being removed. The Age has reported on the issue and the Office of the Conservation Regulator is now investigating.
“We are extremely disturbed at the amount of questionable clear felling of large habitat trees occurring along thousands of kilometres of East Gippsland’s roads... We fear that demands from industry for salvage logging of burnt public forests is already happening under the guise of road clearing operations.”
Over-zealous and unregulated logging of Bloodwood trees in Cape ConranRead more
Environment Department Takes Axe to Environment Protections
Nature conservation groups are alarmed at proposed changes to critical rules to protect forest wildlife and cultural heritage from logging.
The Code of Practice for Timber Production (the Code) is the key regulatory tool used to manage native forest logging in Victoria.
Proposed changes to the Code have been released for public comment by the state Environment Department—and they have set off alarm bells for conservationists.
Environment department plan to cut forest protections
UPDATE: The Minster has announced the Code review consultation has been withdrawn and acknowledged there are legitimate concerns around the draft changes. We raised our voices and she listened.
It's really important that future changes to logging regulations strengthen environmental protections, not weaken them as the environment department had intended. Send the Minsiter a personal email calling on her to ensure protections for the environment and wildlife are strengthened, including for the Greater Gliders, rainforests and old growth forests.
Email: [email protected]
The Victorian Environment Department (DELWP) is proposing huge changes to the way our forest wildlife is protected from logging. The Code of Practice for Timber Production sets rules and standards that the logging industry must meet and the environment department must enforce.
The Code is currently under review and the department are proposing sweeping changes, including a proposed deletion of more than 400 specific protection rules for the environment.
These changes would be a disaster for precious old growth forests, habitat for threatened wildlife and rare and endangered ecosystems.Read more
Response to independent review of logging regulation GECO / TWS / FoE
The Wilderness Society and Goongerah Environment Centre and Friends of the Earth
Independent Review of Timber Harvesting Regulation joint response
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
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