Ashes to ashes: logging and fires have left Victoria’s magnificent forests in tatters

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Originally published at: 

In February 2009 the Black Saturday bushfires swept through the Mountain Ash forests of Victoria, burning 72,000 hectares.

These forests are home to the tallest flowering plants on the planet, and iconic species such as the Leadbeater’s Possum, Victoria’s animal emblem. In the six years since the fires, we and other scientists have been investigating how the forests have recovered, summarised in our new book. This research was in turn built on 25 years of research before the fires.

There’s some good news and some bad. The forests and their inhabitants have a remarkable capacity for recovery from natural disturbances like fire. However, the forest ecosystem is in a precarious state, largely due to the continuation of Victoria’s logging industry.

Green groups accuse Labor of moving too slowly to deliver for the environment

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Originally published at: 

Environment Victoria found in some areas Victoria had gone backwards thanks to Labor's actions. Photo: Jonathan Carroll

Premier Daniel Andrews' green credentials have been dealt a blow, with a new report card into his government's first year accusing Labor of moving too slowly to deliver for the environment.

Lancefield bushfire: Controlled burn that destroyed homes 'poorly planned, under-staffed'

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Originally published at: 

The controlled burn near Lancefield

Photo: The controlled burn near Lancefield was fanned by hot, windy conditions. (Supplied: Geordie Wood)

A planned burn-off that broke containment lines and went on to destroy homes near Lancefield in central Victoria was under-staffed and poorly planned, an independent report has found.

The investigation into last month's fire found "significant shortcomings" in the way Victoria's environment department carries out planned burn-offs and communicates with the community.

We quibble over ‘lawfare’, but the law is not protecting species properly anyway

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Originally published at: 

The federal government is set to go ahead with its crackdown on environmental “lawfare”, which would restrict green groups' legal standing to challenge mining approvals and other developments.

The Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications yesterday endorsed the proposed changes to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, citing the “costs to proponents and consequences for economic activity when major development projects are delayed by judicial review”.

Leadbeater's possum national park plans dealt a blow

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Originally published at: 

The Leadbeater's possum. Photo Justin McManus

The Leadbeater's possum is believed to be perilously close to extinction. Photo: Justin McManus

A plan for a new national park to protect the endangered Leadbeater's possum has been dealt a blow with revelations VicForests locked in millions of dollars worth of new logging contracts.