Clearfell Logging

Clearfelling entire hill sides back to bare dirt is VicForests’ favorite way of logging because it creates thousands of tonnes of ‘waste’ trees.

This so called waste is then sold very cheaply to local and Asian paper companies. It has to do with the economies of scale.

Before the late 60s, the best timber trees were felled singly for sawn timber (called selective logging). Now the entire landscape goes. Not only does clearfelling take out those offensive ancient forests and the animals that live there, it lets the logging companies burn any struggling plants that try to return and then plant one species of preferred tree as a woodchippers mono-crop over the top of once was diverse healthy forest. 

In effect, we pay them to cut down hundreds of year old trees, incinerate the site, and convert it all to miles and miles of woodchip tree farms. Even though conversion to plantations is illegal, they just give it another name – regeneration – oh – and usually with ‘sustainably managed’ in front of that.

It’s a bit like defining mass slaughter of civilians in a war ‘collateral damage’ (depending on who’s doing the killing).

Report on EEG vs VicForests case - Brown Mountain

3 November 2011

It has been more than two years since Environment East Gippsland began legal action to sue the government’s logging monopoly, VicForests. In August 2009 we applied for an injunction for an immediate stop to logging at Brown Mountain. A year later, on 11 August 2010, the ruling was handed down. We had won our case!

Not only did Environment East Gippsland win the case for Brown Mountain, but we successfully set three major precedents for other community groups:

VicForests' hypocrisy highlighted by their own plantation report

9 September 2011

A report commissioned by VicForests has shown that there is enough plantation wood in Victoria to end native forest woodchipping for paper production in Victoria.

For years, VicForests has been misleading the public by saying that there is not enough plantation wood to make paper here in Australia. This rhetoric has lead them to continue woodchipping in native forests to supply Australian Paper, their largest domestic customer.. Now they have been tripped up by their own industry report which confirms there is enough plantation wood already available in Victoria to replace native forests for paper production.

Reflex Paper and Victorian native forest logging stripped of green credentials

24 August 2011

Reflex Paper has lost its Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification because Victoria’s native forest logging practices do not meet the Council’s strict environmental standards.

“This is a huge blow for the credibility of Victoria’s timber industry, and state-owned logging company VicForests,” said Wilderness Society campaigner Luke Chamberlain.

MyEnvironment Inc. Environment group heads to court to stop destruction of endangered possum’s home

24 August 2011

MyEnvironment Inc, a local Yarra Ranges environment group is heading to the courts today in a desperate attempt to stop logging in one of the few high-conservation value forests spared from the horrific Black Saturday bushfires and home to the endangered Leadbeater’s Possum.   

A writ to be filed in the Melbourne Supreme Court this morning seeking an injunction against state-owned timber company VicForests to stop logging at Sylvia Creek forest, which has been a hotbed of protest action in the past month.

Latest logging audit spin

14 August 2011

How can an audit that has found environmental breaches on almost all the coupes checked possibly end up with a result of 93% compliance?

The latest audit of logging in Victoria’s forests will leave many environmentalists convinced that these Audits are totally worthless exercises that have done nothing to protect biodiversity in our forests. One of the reasons for the audit result is that around half of the things checked by the auditors are checks to make sure paperwork has been filled in correctly.

VicForests’ excuses unconvincing

13 June 2011

The recent exposé of the export of high quality whole logs to China has shown one more of the many underhanded and hypocritical operations that VicForests manages. Environment East Gippsland has accused VicForests of either colluding with their log customer’s illicit trade or being hopelessly incompetent as the government’s corporate forest manager.

VicForests – the scandals!

11 April 2011

The report to Treasury on the performance of VicForests was revealed in late February via an FOI by the Age newspaper. > Read it here.  It details much of their mismanagement and appalling behaviour. They have illegally logged forests, not adhered to their charter, not regenerated thousands of hectares of logged forest, lost millions of public money and of course thumbed their nose at environmental regulations.

Brown Mountain - final court orders

15 September 2010

Environment East Gippsland has welcomed the final orders in the Brown Mountain landmark trial handed down in the Supreme Court on the 14th September.

“VicForests must pay 90% of our costs, as well as all their own costs, for this very long and expensive trial.

"DSE will need to undertake a series of surveys for two species of frogs and the spot tailed quoll in the coupes, there must be a review of protection areas for Sooty and Powerful owls and special conservation zones must be created for two species of gliders and the potoroo.