Logging and Clearfell

Logging plan puts squeeze on Victoria's high value native forests

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Originally published at: 

VicForests' timber release plan targets 12,000 hectares of East Gippsland forest. Photo: John Renowden

Victoria has taken the dubious title of being the largest logger of Australian native forest by volume, accounting for around a third of all native forest logged in the country over the past year.

The state government agency VicForests logged more than 1.3 million cubic metres of wood from Victoria's native forests, almost 100,000 cubic metres more than the year before.

VicForests logs Powerful Owl habitat for …. firewood?

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Originally published at: 

Powerful Owl (Image Duncan Fraser)

You’ve got to be joking, right? VicForests are spruiking the importance of  firewood as a sustainable product from Parlour’s Creek coupe. Is firewood really such an important part of their business model?

Which kind of means that they’re logging Powerful Owl and Greater Glider habitat for firewood!

Native forests are worth more unlogged, so why are we still cutting them down?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Originally published at: 

I spent the first four years of my life living in the middle of the forest in southeastern NSW.

Our log cabin was at the end of a dirt road, surrounded by stringybark, spotted gum and the sounds of kookaburras and lyre birds.

Illustration: John Shakespeare

Wombat holes and lichen-covered boulders dotted the hillside and the creek ran cold and clear, steeped red-brown with tea tree.

After we moved to the city, we returned most years to visit family. Every trip more and more of the surrounding bushland was cleared and replanted with radiata pine.

Bigger than Brown Mountain!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Our Supreme Court case against VicForests did not settle at court-ordered mediation on 24th August. EEG and our team of excellent lawyers were planning to be back in the Melbourne Supreme Court again on October 26th to again argue the case.

BUT the Court adjourned our case due to ongoing DELWP investigations and VicForests recent disclosure of new documents. We will be heading off to the Melbourne Supreme Court on 6th February 2017 now - for an 8 day trial. We will be arguing that VicForests failed to identify and protect threatened plants and animals at logging coupes in the Kuark forests. This is going to be an important case for threatened species protection in Victoria.

EEG and our lawyers are set to go, but we do need your help - in a big way.
A very generous supporter has offered us a matching dollar for dollar donation of up to $10,000. But she needs to know we have public support. That means if we can raise $10,000 from our members and followers, it will actually give us $20,000 to help our case! Good deal?
As donations to EEG are tax-deductible you can also claim them back when you do your tax.


The case will raise legal questions that we hope will provide findings with wider ramifications than just in the disputed areas, as with the Brown Mountain findings. Those findings resulted in VicForests carrying out (limited) pre-logging surveys that it never had done in the past.

KUARK – protecting a forest ark

Thursday, September 22, 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.

Logging starts in Strathbogies

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Originally published at: 

The natural beauty of the Strathbogie State Forest.

After years of discussion and campaigning, environment groups feel like they are losing the battle to protect Strathbogie State Forest with VicForests beginning its logging operation.

Euroa Environment Group and Strathbogie State Forest Group want a thorough assessment of the forest values to establish how much forest is available for sustainable logging and ensure it does not encroach on native species.

High drama turned into a High five!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Greater Glider forest refuge was being clearfelled by VicForests through July and August in an extremely provocative act while taskforce members negotiated. This created extreme volatility between the government, its Forest Taskforce (set up to solve Vic’s long and bitter forest dispute), environment groups and VicForests. The logging coupes in our current legal case are all part of it.  

Forest Industry Taskforce progress

Thursday, August 18, 2016

In line with the Taskforce Terms of Reference, those representing the industry, union and enviro groups have refined the agreed opportunities for industry and conservation changes. This includes the establishment of new parks and reserves, threatened species, wood supply security, industry investment, measuring and valuing forest carbon, jobs and regional employment, review and reform regulations (laws), the future shape of the industry and the future shape of conservation and the parks system.

Native Forest logging: we can do better than this

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Originally published at: 

Pretty much everyone is sick of the slogans used by the major parties in the election. But jobs, growth and fairness remain pertinent to the current situation in the native forests of Victoria's Central Highlands. There, the reality is that native forest logging provides few jobs; it is not a growth industry – its resource availability is shrinking. It is not fair that taxpayers have to subsidise an industry worth far less to the economy than alternative uses of the forest.

Pages