Clearfell Logging

Logging sparks clash of timber and tourism

12 June 2012

THE fire-ravaged hills of Melbourne's nature tourism fringe are under renewed threat, with mass arrests and displaced wildlife adding fresh heat to long-simmering concerns about clear-fell logging.

Two thirds of the Toolangi State Forest was lost to the Black Saturday bushfires, leaving only 14,000ha of standing forest.

Industry, environment and tourism groups agree logging is being stepped up in what's left of Toolangi to meet timber quotas for logs and woodchips.

Loggers get free range of possums' habitats to harvest timber in Victoria's central highlands

28 May 2012

ENVIRONMENTALISTS have lost the battle to save the habitat of the endangered leadbeater's possum in the central highlands of Victoria.

In the Supreme Court this afternoon Justice Robert Osborn refused to grant permanent orders that would restrain loggers from harvesting timber in three coupes, Gun Barrel, Freddo and South Col, northeast of Toolangi.

But Justice Osborn also called for an urgent review of the reserve system that is supposed to protect the leadbeater’s possum habitat within the central highlands forest management area.

Court case fails to stop logging in Leadbeater's Possum habitat

24 March 2012
Originally published at : 

Healesville-based group, MyEnvironment, has lost a court case it mounted against government body VicForests over the logging of Victoria’s central highlands areas that include habitat for the endangered Leadbeater’s Possum.

Justice Robert Osborn handed down his decision in the Supreme Court on March 14. He refused to order a stop to logging in three forest coupes at Toolangi, including the Gun Barrel coupe that was the scene of blockades and protests in late 2011.

Forests agency sued for logging

19 March 2012

STATE-OWNED timber agency VicForests has been hit with court action by the Environment Department after it allegedly logged protected rainforest.

The court battle relates to VicForests' logging operations in the Orbost Forest District in East Gippsland, where the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment says unauthorised harvesting of rainforest and buffer areas took place.

A spokeswoman for the department confirmed the prosecution, saying charges laid on VicForests included "undertaking an unauthorised timber harvesting operation in a state forest".

Industry pushes against the grain

4 February 2012

THE logs - thousands of them - are piled neatly in an old sawmill yard at Neerim South, Gippsland. To the casual observer they may look unexceptional. But the truck drivers, paid by the government to cart the felled trees from the state's forests, know better. This place is a dumping ground, albeit temporary. And the wood - representing about 100 hectares of trees - symbolises long-term problems with the management of Victoria's native forests.

DSE to probe rainforest logging claims

23 November 2011

Anti-logging protesters have succeeded in stopping logging in a remote part of far East Gippsland.

The Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) has agreed to investigate the protesters' claim that rainforest is threatened by logging on the Errinundra Plateau, north of Orbost.

It is illegal to log rainforest in Victoria.

Protesters have been disrupting operations in the forest coupe over the past fortnight.

Police went to the remote site yesterday to dismantle a tree platform built by the campaigners.

Timber auditor axes operations

12 September 2011

THE ORGANISATION that gives a green tick to some of Australia's biggest timber and paper companies has voluntarily suspended most of its operations after a bruising stoush with environment groups over its approval of paper brand Reflex.

SmartWood, a division of Rainforest Alliance, gave up its ability to give out chain of custody certifications following an investigation into its audit of Reflex maker Australian Paper by international governing body the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

Just 1% of central highlands old growth survives

12 September 2011

BEFORE European settlement up to 80 per cent of the wet eucalyptus forest of Victoria's central highlands was old-growth mountain ash, with trees taller than 90 metres towering above the landscape.

According to research published in US journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the old-growth is nearly gone and on the verge of being unrecoverable.

The paper says decades of logging and frequent bushfire have reduced the area of old-growth to about 2000 hectares - 1.2 per cent of the forest area north-east of Healesville.

Reflex loses environmental certification

1 September 2011

UPDATE: RURAL jobs could be at stake after Australia's largest brand of copy paper no longer has an environmental certification.

Reflex copy paper, manufactured by Australia's biggest mill near Traralgon, is no longer certified by the Forest Stewardship Council .

The loss of the certification centres around Reflex's use of native forest woodchip.