The Victorian government is targeting forests in Swifts Creek on Gunai Kurnai Country for logging despite being an important refuge area for wildlife after the bushfires.
Conservation groups and East Gippsland locals have recently visited the area and are shocked at the scale of destruction in forests which have never been logged. Two areas have already been clear-felled, and the whole hillside is up for logging. Despite being critical habitat for Greater Gliders, Sooty Owls, and Yellow-bellied Gliders, the state government commenced logging two months ago. Take action and call for the protection of these and other refuges for wildlife!
Giant habitat tree, logged in Swifts Creek
Photo credit: Friends of Bats and Habitat GippslandRead more
VicForests have removed the coupe in Errinundra where community protests have halted logging for nearly 2 months from the immediate schedule. Multiple tree-sits had been set up in the area, two people have been arrested since the protests started at the end of January this year. The Errinundra Plateau is one of the few remaining unburnt areas in East Gippsland, and a critical refuge for bushfire ravaged wildlife.
While the area is safe for now, logging machines are already moving into an area just down the road where GECO citizen scientists found five Greater Gliders. Protests against the logging are ramping up in the area. Camp Errinundra is still halting logging in this critical area of unburnt forest. Camp is always in need of more support, click here for details of how to get involved.
Community protests halted logging for nearly 2 months
For two weeks logging has been halted in a precious area of forests in Errinundra. For 11 days an East Gippsland local stayed up a tree-sit to stop machines from coming in, they were arrested a few days ago, along with another person occupying a tree-sit nearby. Since then protesters have blocked the road with a tri-pod structure. Despite the arrests protests are continuing in the area, where logging has been prevented from going ahead for the last 2 weeks.
A conservationist is now blocking the road stopping machines from entering the forestRead more
Protesters are occupying an area of forest about to be logged on the Errinundra Plateau in East Gippsland. One local community member has taken residence in a tree-sit suspended 40 metres up a giant Eucalypt tree to halt destruction of the area. The tree-sit is located in one of the last unburnt areas of forest in East Gippsland for endangered wildlife heavily impacted by last year’s bushfire.
Email savee[email protected] to get involved
View from the tree-sit over the Errinundra PlateauRead more
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.
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.
Recovering cool-temperate rainforest, Mt Jersey East GippslandRead more
"Today myself and a bunch of locals have come up to Mt Jersey to highlight something that the Victorian Government doesn't want you to see. And it is that old growth forests are still being logged and destroyed in Victoria."
Powerful words and footage from East Gippsland locals speaking out against logging in recovering forests on the doorstep of their township. After surviving the worst bushfires in living memory they're now watching the state government destroy these important areas which still provide critical habitat for wildlife.
You can take action and stand with the community by email decision makers here:
Government owned logging agency VicForests have finally released the results of their 2019 Forest Stewardship Council audit, revealing they've failed to achieve FSC certification. This is the fifth try to get the green tick, the audit report reveals major non-conformances for failure to protect threatened species habitat and high conservation values, continued logging of old growth forest, as well as poor stakeholder engagement.
Remarkably, a few months ago when VicForests announced they were abandoning their efforts to get the green tick, they made a desperate attempt to shift the blame for failing to meet the standards, pointing the finger to the FSC board itself, who have nothing to do with the audit process or the outcome. They also blamed the bushfires and COVID, events which happened after the audit in 2019.
Failed regen, Mt Delusion, Swifts Creek
Our good friends from the Fauna and Flora Research Collective (FFRC) are back in court on September 16th to defend East Gippsland's precious old growth forests from logging! Despite the government's supposed ban on old growth logging, old growth is still getting the chop under a new definition. The case is the only thing keeping the government accountable to protect these ancient forests.
There's still hope for the ancient forests of East Gippsland. FFRC are fighting for protection of old growth in court, and you can help. Please donate to their legal defence fund here.
Precious old growth forests in East Gippsland, still scheduled for logging
After a five year long community campaign, the iconic Kuark forest in East Gippsland was finally protected by the Victorian government. Tragically, Kuark was severely impacted by the devastating fires of 2019/2020. Kuark forest was one of the most bio-diverse forests in Victoria, rich in wildlife, rare rainforest and old growth forests.
After months of wondering with hope and fear of how Kuark had been impacted by the fires, Tasmanian nature photographer Rob Blakers and GECO campaigners returned to the area to document the devastation. Sadly the scale and intensity of the destruction wrought by the fires is profoundly devastating. Read a report from The Guardian Australia here.
Mount Kuark old growth forestRead more