The Melbourne protest action is in support of ongoing protests which have prevented logging for 4 consecutive weeks in a contentious area of unburnt forest at the Errinundra Plateau in East Gippsland. Last week two protesters occupying tree sits in the forest were arrested, one person had spent 11 days occupying a tree-sit platform stopping logging machines from moving into the area. Another protester has climbed 30 meters up a tree and is currently stopping the imminent destruction of the forest.
For four consecutive weeks protests have stopped logging machinery from moving into forests on the Errinundra Plateau
Government owned VicForests have ignored advice from the Government’s Environment Department that logging in the area should not go ahead, in what scientists call the ‘best of the best’ habitat remaining for bushfire affected wildlife like the Greater Glider.
Despite the horrific impacts of the bushfires there have been no changes to logging schedules and additional areas have been added to logging plans since fires raged across eastern Victoria last year. The Errinundra Plateau, which survived the catastrophic bushfire, now has more than 60 areas earmarked for logging.
“The Andrews government is following the scientific advice when it comes to COVID-19. But when it comes to following advice from the government’s own scientists that logging should stop to prevent irreversible damage to biodiversity.” said Chris Schuringa, spokesperson for East Gippsland environment group Goongerah Environment Centre.
Post-fire logging in an active coupe nearby in the Goongerah water catchment
“We know logging kills wildlife and turns their homes to piles of debris. Just last week studies are again showing the links between logging and hotter bushfires. But the government is ignoring the science and is logging business as usual.” said Chris Schuringa
“The 2030 expiry for the native forest logging industry is already years too late. The government has quickly mobilised and made massive changes and followed the health advice. They need to listen to the science on logging and protect forests.” said Chris Schuringa.
“Millions of hectares of forest burnt just over a year ago. Three billion animals died. It's time to immediately protect our forests and bring forward a just transition for the logging industry.” said Chris Schuringa.
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