Old Growth Forests

Globally, it's very rare and endangered. Victoria doesn’t have much either, but East Gippsland is the stronghold of old growth forests with about maybe 15% remaining.

VicForests tells us it only destroys 300 hectares of these forests every year.  This means the now rare wildlife that evolved to live in these multi aged hollow-rich forests are being killed daily and species are in deep doo-doo. Trees can be 600+ years old, still solid and healthy, but are cut down to make way for a stream-lined woodchip industry.

VicForests and the Victorian government also have their own definition of old growth that allows them to claim they don’t log it. They also claim they protect most of it and have a giant tree protection policy. The size a tree has to be is extremely large – about 9m around and 600 years old. But we still find fresh stumps of that size and greater. Another lie of protecting giant trees.

Also - you can hardly fit VicForests favourite word “sustainable” onto their logging when they obliterate these gems off the planet, grow back a spindly crop of woodchip trees and then log it again in 30-50 years.

Save Sylvia Supreme Court Case

6 February 2012
'MyEnvironment has demonstrated a strong case for the overall review of the adequacy of the reserve system intended to protect LBP habitat within the Central Highlands Forest Management Area. The [2009] bushfires have materially changed the circumstances in which the existing system was planned and implemented and there is, on the evidence, an urgent need to review it’  Justice Robert Osborn. 2012

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:

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.

Saving the giants

18 April 2011

VICFORESTS have announced a new “Giant Tree Protection Policy” which they say will protect any tree greater than four metres in diameter or 85 metres high in approved harvesting areas.

Michael Ryan, VicForests' Forest Scientist said VicForests' policy regarding 'giant trees' would also endeavour to protect trees which are greater than three metres in diameter.

“Trees of greater than three metres in diameter are more common both in reserves and other forest areas, however, protecting these trees will allow them to also grow into giant trees over time,” he said.

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.

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.