Forest Plundering

We could fill a 10 volume encyclopaedia with stories of VicForests' plundering exploits, but in this section we will just stick to 10 main topics.

VicForests finally admits – the logs aren’t there

23 January 2017

Forests are not a Magic Pudding and this fact finally caught up with the government and VicForests in January 2017.  Knocking down forests faster than they can regrow has been the management standard for decades by every logging agency and overseen and excused by every government (Liberal and Labor). After such cut-throat management, the industry and workers are now screaming that their throats have been cut because the limit has been reached; forests can no longer provide the sawlogs demanded.

KUARK – protecting a forest ark

22 September 2016

Supreme Court Case

EEG’s history of taking legal action has become legendary. We are now progressing another legal case to protect some of East Gippsland’s most beautiful stands of forest in an area known as the Kuark (koo-ark). This began in January 2016, with a successful injunction to stop logging granted in February 2016 (until the case is finalised). We argue that VicForests failed to properly look for and protect threatened wildlife, native plants and rainforest.

How it began

There had been a number of other areas in East Gippsland where the citizen science work of GECO and FFRC had identified wildlife such as Greater Gliders and Yellow-bellied Gliders in areas planned for logging. With the evidence of these species and the help of EEG’s lawyers at EJA writing to VicForests, several forest stands were protected or partly protected. The combination of volunteer survey findings and legal assistance were very effective. 

However, after the survey crews and our lawyers had informed VicForests of findings in three particular coupes in the Kuark forests, it refused to do what we believed they were obliged to, as they had in the other areas.  Despite relevant legislation, the EG Forest Management Plan, Management Procedures, Planning Standards and the Code of Practice for Timber Production, logging continued.

EEG applied for and was granted an urgent interlocutory injunction on 13th February 2016.    We are now seeking orders declaring that the logging in these coupes is unlawful and to continue this injunction until VicForests comply with their legal obligations.

 

The three forest stands in dispute

There are three logging coupes in dispute. VicForests named one ‘Tin shed’, coupe number 830-507-0023, which was half logged (early January) but had not been surveyed despite the likely presence of rare species.

One to its south is called ‘Webbed feet’ coupe no 507-0020 (late Jan/Feb), and has a substantial area of rainforest within it. This coupe has had major disturbance from snig tracks across half the area but with only a relatively small part of it logged. The injunction prevented further damage.

The third coupe is called ‘Drop Bear’, numbered 507-0021 and was marked as ‘in progress’. It is an untouched stand of rich forest to the north west adjoining Webbed Feet that VicForests now claim it has no intention to log this year.

Summer legal actions stop VicForests in its (bulldozer) tracks

9 February 2016

On three occasions between mid-December 2015 and early February 2016, EEG has been forced to engage lawyers from Environment Justice Australia . We believe VicForests is consistently not taking its legal obligations regarding environmental protection seriously and Minister Neville’s Environment Department is yet to to take action. Keep reading for more details of our most recent legal adventures ...

VicForests facing legal action again

15 December 2015

The state government owned logging company VicForests, is in the legal crosshairs of environmentalists yet again.  Lawyers acting on behalf of Environment East Gippsland have this week formally requested an explanation as to why a rich habitat site suited for rare forest-dependant wildlife was not surveyed before logging commenced last week.

“We believe this is a strong case of non-compliance with the law”, said EEG’s Jill Redwood. “This beautiful stand of wet forest contains old growth trees, rainforest and many habitat traits essential for rare and threatened wildlife. It should have been surveyed.”

“We won our Brown Mountain case in 2010 when VicForests logged without checking for the presence of rare native animals.  It seems they haven’t learnt.”

Cottonwood Range – showcase of cataclysmic clearing

8 November 2015

Cottonwood Range near Bendoc - regeneration failure Photo from GECO

This was logged 11 years ago! It was once a stand of beautiful forest rich with wildlife and birds - tall trees and lush understorey. It is part of the 10,000 ha of public land in Victoria that remains a wasteland after clearfell logging.

The photograph shows it had its earlier wattle regrowth scalped back to bare earth in the hope of coaxing eucalypts back first, but has been rendered a barren landscape devoid of anything but dead bracken.  


Even more shocking is VicForests’ plan to clearfell another 20 stands of forest within 2kms.

Showing us their true character

22 October 2015

In true style, the logging industry has again given the finger to the public. The very same day as DELWP and three environment groups were meeting to discuss giant tree protection (21/10/15) this image was posted to an environment group’s’ Facebook page to aggravate them. It backfired in a big way.  Thanks fellas.

What underlies the Minister’s lies?

3 September 2015

Minister Jaala Pulford is responsible for VicForests. She’s been caught with her pants on fire again trying to cover for it in reply to a question from Greens MP Sam Dunn in early September.

She asked about ‎VicForests’ self-allocation of an additional 316 new stands of forest in Victoria to be clearfelled. The Minister said it was OK because the same number of hectares was also removed off logging maps. What she didn't say was that most of those coupes VicForests had already clearfelled and were now handing back to DELWP to manage!

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