Logging has recommenced in the highly contentious old growth forest of Hensleigh creek rd, near Errinundra National Park. Logging was halted in April after we exposed illegal rainforest logging. The Victorian government conducted two investigations and an independent review which found 'inconclusive' evidence because the rainforest had already been destroyed. Environment Minister Lisa Neville committed her Department to improve logging rules in light of this controversial operation, but in a massive backwards step she has allowed VicForests back into the area. We took direct action to stop the logging yesterday. Police broke up the blockade last night and logging is expected to start again today. Logging is occurring without a legally required pre logging survey for protected wildlife. We've documented Greater Gliders in high densities in the area, however the government are refusing to protect their habitat and force VicForests to conduct a legally required survey. Click read more to take action and read our media release.
Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) has submitted a report to the State government detailing illegal logging of rainforest in East Gippsland. Logging of rainforest buffer zones has occurred unlawfully in a controversial coupe that VicForests stopped working in after protests from GECO and legal action from Environment East Gippsland last week.
The Department of Environment has told GECO an investigation has begun. It is the fourth investigation into VicForests’ illegal rainforest logging this year.
GECO joined Fauna and Flora Research collective and Environment East Gippsland yesterday to meet with the Department of Envrionment Land Water and Planning (DELWP). The meeting was to discuss acceptable protections for rainforest, cool temperate mixed forest and large old trees. The consultation resulted from public concern over an illegal rainforest logging operation on the Errinundra plateau that GECO documented in April this year. Controversy surrounding the rainforest logging operation prompted the government to review the logging rules. Instead of actually doing their job and prosecuting VicForests for the illegal logging, the DELWP have instead decided to change to rules!
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/
Jaala Pulford seems to have lost the plot this week! She was asked questions in parliament about her department (The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources) threatening to prosecute us for entering a logging area where we exposed dodgy rainforest logging, and she said it is "entirely appropriate" for us to be prosecuted!
Despite the Environment Minister condemning the logging and her department thanking us for bringing it to their attention, the Agriculture minister seems hell bent on punishing us for speaking out. She has also said the VicForests operates with 'world's best practice"! We are a bit confused as to how the senseless destruction of rainforest is 'world's best practice'! Read the article published by New Matilda by clicking read more.
Ancient rainforest, illegally logged for no reason and left behind to burn.....................World's best practice Jaala?
The Victorian government has written to members of GECO who did the survey that exposed recent illegal rainforest logging, threatening to prosecute them for entering the logging area!
Unbelievable but true, the government has stooped to new lows here in an attempt to silence us. Click read more to read the New Matilda article below.
Environment Minster Lisa Neville MP has slammed VicForests conduct in the logging coupe where GECO reported illegal rainforest logging last month. The Minister said she was 'disturbed' by the logging, labeling it 'extremely poor practice'. The investigation into our allegations concluded VicForests retained 'a degree of culpability' as they allowed the unnecessary destruction of rainforest canopy species. See the media reporting here. The Minister's condemnation comes after the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP), dismissed our allegations of illegal logging, due to what they claim is inconclusive evidence. The department's report concluded that 'due to the highly disturbed nature of the site, a proper physical assessment was not possible'. In other words the evidence had been destroyed! This is typical of the DELWP who go out of their way to let VicForests off the hook and facilitate dodgy logging practices. We are calling for an independent review of the decision and for VicForests to be prosecuted.
DELWP failed to investigate one of the allegations we raised. This was in relation to the illeagl logging of Cool Temperate Mixed Forest ( a type of transitional rainforest that is recognised as as separate community from rainforest and is listed as threatened under the Flora and Fauna Gaunrantee Act). The Minister has ordered them to investigate this allegation, and so the saga continues.
We have great news! Logging in the contentious area where we reported rainforest logging has finally stopped!
Thanks for contacting Environment Minister Lisa Neville MP and Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford MP! Our reporting and lobbying combined with the pressure you applied to her office has saved 7 ha of old growth forest that would have otherwise been logged. Well done! The pic above is GECO campaigner Ed Hill, looking pretty stoked to know this massive tree is safe from the chainsaws and bulldozers that have flattened the rest of the forest.
The area left intact is about one quarter of the whole logging coupe, so it's a significant victory for forests. However the logged ancient forest will never come back and the rainforest destruction is a tragedy.
GECO volunteers discovered an illegal rainforest logging operation at Hensleigh ck on the Errinundra Plateau this week. The state owned logging company VicForests have destroyed an entire cool temperate rainforest gully in breach on Victorian law. Rainforest is supposed to be protected under Victorian law. GECO has submitted a detailed report on this illegal destruction to the Victorian government. Read the report here.
We are calling on Environment Minister Lisa Neville MP and Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford to step in and stop this illegal logging operation. Email and call them today and call on them to stop the logging at Hensleigh Ck and investigate this appalling destruction.Read more