Forest Plundering

A government devoid of morals

3 October 2013

Why must it take a tiny environment group to force a government to obey its own laws on threatened species? Jill Redwood wonders what happened to the Victorian Government's morals.

AS I WRITE, the bulldozers and chainsaws are brutalising another superb stand of ancient forest not far from where I am just out of Orbost, south-eastern Victoria.

Environmental concerns about logging in Victoria unabated

20 August 2013
Originally published at : 

TONY EASTLEY: Certainly CSG is on electors minds. As we travelled from the Liverpool Plains to Nimbin there were plenty of anti-CSG signs on the entrances to properties on the roads as we drove the seven hours north-east towards the coast and the Queensland border.
CSG, climate change and carbon pricing have dominated federal debate, shadowing other environmental issues.
In Victoria, environmentalists say the last of the unprotected old growth forest in east Gippsland is under threat from logging, as are many of the threatened species that rely on it. 

The gathering tragedy in our forests

19 May 2013

Victoria’s forests are beset by problems – and time is running out to provide solutions.

Mention forest issues in Australia and almost everyone thinks of seemingly endless battles in Tasmania. Yet few people realise that large parts of the Victorian forest estate are in far worse shape than Tasmania’s.

This is because of the tiny fraction of remaining old growth, the rapid rate of overcutting of dwindling sawlog resources and the widespread use of antiquated and highly damaging clearfelling methods.

VicForests attacked over logging plan

16 May 2013

Victoria’s state-owned timber company will reduce logging by 25 per cent in the bushfire-ravaged mountain ash forests of the central highlands – but will wait until mid-2017 to make the shift.

The ash forests are home to Victoria’s endangered faunal emblem, the Leadbeater’s possum, whose numbers fell to well below 2000 after the Black Saturday fires ravaged its habitat and have not recovered.

Native forest logs 'torched'

22 June 2012

HUNDREDS of tonnes of native forest logs harvested for timber have instead been "torched''.

They have been torched by a government agency, eyewitnesses say. And the locals question the viability of the Victorian Government logging agency.

VicForests harvested coupes near Genoa last year.

Locals say logs good enough for timber products – known as sawlogs – were not removed from the site, instead being pushed into piles and burned.

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.

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.

Secret log exports exposed

21 June 2011

THE Wilderness Society has called on the Victorian ombudsman for an independent investigation into the proposed secret export of whole sawlogs from state forests in the Central Highlands region.

An investigation by The Wilderness Society and My Environment revealed tens of thousands of hardwood sawlogs from bushfire affected forests, including the Mount Disappointment State Forest, are secretly being shipped to China against State Government policy.

Row erupting over Black Saturday CHN wood exports

20 June 2011

THOUSANDS of tonnes of wood salvaged from the Black Saturday bushfires has been sent to China in breach of a government contract.

The Wilderness Society has called on Ombudsman George Brouwer to investigate after VicForests confirmed a private company, Pinex Logging, had breached a contract to process the logs locally to protect jobs in the Victorian timber industry.