The State government has issued fines to three citizen science surveyors who reported illegal rainforest logging. Despite the State government committing to implementing a raft of changes to logging rules in light of the information we provided, fines have been issued for entering logging "safety zone". We'll be fighting the fines in court and will not be silenced for speaking out about VicForests unlawful logging operations.
The so called 'safety zones' are designed to keep the public out of the forests and shield VicForests logging operations from scrutiny. We'll continue to monitor and document logging operations. It's in the public interest for the public to know what is happening in their forests.
Victorian Government Thanks Conservationists For Exposing "Disturbing" Logging Practices By Fining Them
The Victorian government has fined a conservationist who exposed what the Environment Minister described as “very disturbing” and “extremely poor practice” logging, despite reports he helped prepare becoming a catalyst for substantial reform of industry guidelines.
Originally published by New Matilda: https://newmatilda.com/2015/08/10/victorian-government-thanks-conservationists-exposing-disturbing-logging-practices-fining/
Goongerah Environment Centre Office (GECO) is a grass roots community group based in the small town of Goongerah, East Gippsland. Goongerah is located 70 kms north east of the town of Orbost. Since 1993 we have campaigned for protection of East Gippsland’s forests.
Using a variety of strategies including education and raising pubic awareness, political lobbying, non violent direct action, citizen science and forest monitoring we have successfully achieved a number of significant conservation outcomes.
These include the addition of Goolengook forest to the Errinundra National Park, the linking of Snowy River and Errinundra National Parks and the creation of a number of conservation zones through our Citizen Science and forest monitoring program.
Many environment groups and concerned individuals have put time and energy into supporting GECO and have appreciated the importance of the on site information we can provide. The people that live and work at GECO are dedicated to the protection of the High Conservation Value Forests in East Gippsland. This is achieved by -
- networking with other environment groups and the traditional owners,
- endangered species surveying,
- monitoring of logging operations and forest management,
- liaising with workers and with police,
- public awareness campaigns & fundraising
- and last, but by no means least, non-violent direct action.
GECO supports a non-hierarchical mode of organisation. We are a group of individuals involved in collective action. As such our primary means of organisation is voluntary association and co-operation. Responsibility is assumed by individuals with the skills, experience and the trust of the group to carry out essential tasks. No one individual at GECO holds command and control powers over any other. Decisions are made collectively by consensus with each individual having equal input into the decision making process.
GECO is composed of individuals involved in collective action to protect East Gippsland's old growth forests and to support actions happening around Australia and the world.
- We support Non Violent Direct Action
- We receive no government funding. GECO and our campaigns rely on our own fundraising and donations.
- We practice consensus decision making that encourages and respects pluralism of opinion.
- We seek to minimise our impact on the earth and Refuse, Reuse, Reduce and Recycle.
- We aim to use gender neutral language and behave with an awareness of gender issues. Sexual Harassment and verbal or physical violence towards others is not accepted.
- We advocate the development and adoption of a diversified regional economy for East Gippsland for example, Nature-based Eco-tourism.
- We advocate ethical investments, and consumer awareness.
- We support the struggles of indigenous people worldwide to maintain their cultures and land - Indigenous Solidarity
- We strive towards environmental and social justice. Our community values diversity and harmony and encourages viable models for social change.
- Yes, we like wood and use it to keep ourselves warm in winter. We see wood as a renewable resource.It's the Old Growth Forests and the irreplaceable water, soil quality, and biodiversity that concerns us.
To the Premier of Victoria, The Hon Daniel Andrews MP,
As the leader of the Victorian government, I respectfully request that you do all in your power to bring a new approach to the management and appreciation of the forests of East Gippsland.
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