Forest Issues

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.

Feral species inquiry

Monday, August 1, 2016

In Victoria, a parliamentary enquiry has been set up to look at controlling invasive species on crown land. EEG is concerned there is too much focus on shooters and National Parks. Allowing shooting organisations to kill deer or foxes in the Alps or parks will hardly put a dint in their numbers (but will gain a few votes).

What’s needed is serious political will to fund research to progress alternative methods of humane culling of ALL ferals including cats.

Storm-trashed woodchip mill - update

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Last week the first clunky attempt to load woodchips – minus wharf and conveyor belt began. It was incredibly slow and took 8 chip trucks about 45 minutes each to load, drive around to the nearby navy wharf and unload to a makeshift conveyor belt. This constant convoy over 5 days isn’t the most cost effective way to load woodchips.  This is about 7 times less efficient than when they were filling ship hulls at the chip mill’s (now damaged) loading facilities. This is not a long-term viable solution - and the rebuilding of the jetty looks pretty remote.

2016 Federal Election - Key points

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Federal election saw both good and bad results.

The Turnbull govt was returned with a much decreased margin of one but the Senate has a larger number of small parties and independents on the cross-bench, making it more difficult to get legislation passed. The Greens went from 10 down to 9 Senators (losing one from SA’s two) with Adam Bandt elected to the House of Reps. It was extremely close in Batman and Melb Ports with Wills showing a lot of green spirit as well. Melbourne’s north is quite a hot bed of progressive voters. Not so in Gippsland though.

Victorian Forest taskforce

Friday, July 1, 2016

This Daniel Andrews-devised industry/enviro groups roundtable is progressing. The first agreed ‘Statement of Intent’ report was due to be presented to the government by the end of June but that’s now been pushed out by 2-3 weeks. These delays mean more trees fall meanwhile.  

Abolish Failed Forest Deals – What do the Parties Say?

Thursday, June 23, 2016

For nearly 20 years, Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) have given the logging industry preferential access to around seven million hectares of publicly owned native forests in four states. Logging has been exempted from Federal environment laws for this time. AFCA together with over 30 environment groups say RFAs should be abolished and logging in native forests should end.

AFCA asked the Parties two questions. Here are their replies (at 23 June 2016):

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