A Dead Loss

Yes – a ‘dead loss’ sums up Victoria’s native forest logging industry. 

It can’t survive without sponging off tax payers, it breaks laws you and I have to adhere to, it destroys ancient ecosystems and trees hundreds of years old, it stuffs up our water catchments, thumbs its nose at the public’s concerns, leaves thousands of hectares of once-was forest as a weed infested mess, it lies, feeds government and communities outrageous spin, is unaccountable, uneconomic, unprincipled, unlawful.

Its existence is a shameful blight on Victoria.  

VicForests – master chef at book cooking

20 September 2010

Public forests have been sold for 13c a cubic meter profit by VicForests over the past five years when profits and losses are averaged out, according to Environment East Gippsland. The VicForests Annual Report for 2009-10 was tabled in parliament last week.

Environment East Gippsland claims that VicForests recent statement of a $3.6 million profit for 2009-10 is mostly due to an $11 million grant from Bushfire recovery money and inventive accounting.

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.

Win for forests in Supreme Court

11 August 2010

In a landmark decision today, the Supreme Court has found that the government has a responsibility to look for and protect endangered wildlife before logging in the contentious Brown Mountain forests of East Gippsland.

This judgment has implications for all native forests that are set to be destroyed by logging,” said EEG spokesperson Jill Redwood.

“If we hadn’t sued VicForests, Brown Mountain would have been illegally logged by now. And Brown Mountain is just one area. The government is logging publicly owned forests every day without endangered species surveys.”

Court upholds public interest in Brown Mountain forest proceedings

29 September 2009

The Supreme Court today refused VicForests' application for up to $163,000 in security from a small environment group. VicForests was asking for this sum to be secured before a court injunction is granted to stop logging on Brown Mountain.

"If EEG had been required to pay such a large sum of money, it could have stifled an important piece of public interest litigation", said EEG spokesperson Jill Redwood.

Vic Government destroying pre-Columbus trees

3 September 2009

In a state first, radiocarbon dating has confirmed that a tree logged by the Victorian Government began growing before Christopher Columbus ‘discovered’ the Americas.
 

“This a monumental find for Victoria. The carbon sample, taken from a logged shining gum tree at Brown Mountain in East Gippsland, shows there is a 68 per cent chance the tree started growing between 1435 and 1490 AD. The tree is well over 500 years old,” said Jill Redwood, coordinator for Environment East Gippsland, who commissioned the study.
 

600 YEARS OLD!

1 June 2009

A hundred years ago the excuse was ignorance for destroying ancient forests. Now the only excuse is pure, cold-blooded, merciless politics, union corruption and political donations to the ALP.

LOGGING - A dead loss!

14 December 2007

The headline in the Sunday Age in early December 2007 was 'How to turn $99 million worth of trees into a $17,000 loss'. VicForests was exposed as incompetent economic managers of our public forests. Even with a state government gift of tens of millions of dollars to get it set up, it's still not profitable to cut down native forests.

A new era has begun. We have the combined trilogy of; 1) serious climate shift, 2) plantation wood in abundance and 3) a logging industry that continues to rely on public welfare to make a profit.

VicForests - cutting forests, costs and corners

2 August 2007


After three years as the new semi-corporate arm of the government logging agency, VicForests was going down the economic gurgler.

For the first two years after its creation, VicForests was given an easy run with DSE picking up the tab for many costs, but year three was to see it 'off the dole' and making a profit. To balance their books we saw Vic-Forests planning to cut corners and costs. Unfortunately, this also meant cutting their obligations to look after public lands.

VicForests oversees the logging of public forests and is meant to make a profit. In the past, forest agencies (of various names) have relied on hand-outs to operate. Now VicForests' plans to reduce overheads to stay in business could cost the environment dearly.

Auctioning sawlogs brings in some revenue, especially now it asks for a half-decent price for them. But sawmills aren't needing as many logs these days as there is decreasing demand for hardwood timber. However, thousands of tonnes of smoke-damaged ash forests were being knocked down as 'salvage' at ten times the normal rate. Solid logs were split to sell as woodchip fodder at a reduced price. Despite this 'fire sale', the bills were still mounting.
One of those bills was for $2 million in roading charges. DSE build and maintain logging roads then send the bill to VicForests. VicForests denies this is an unpaid debt, and seemed to say it was just a 'dispute over access fees'.

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