Politics

VicForests agree not to log isolated Greater Glider population

Monday, January 18, 2016

State logging company VicForests has agreed not to clearfell 10ha of mature forest in East Gippsland after community surveys identified an isolated population of the rare Greater Glider in forest where logging had started.

“This is great news, but was only acted on after we were forced to engage lawyers. Our lawyers, Environmental Justice Australia, detailed what we believe are VicForests’ obligation to protect this isolated population of a species in decline” said Jill Redwood of EEG. 

When backburns backfire

Friday, January 15, 2016

Leaked documents and The Age’s excellent exposé on the disastrous decisions by DELWP fire managers before Christmas, again highlights this culture of gung-ho-ness which is causing so many losses – personal, social and environmental.

There was more fire-excitement, more bad decisions, more escaped government burns, more homes lost, more wildlife killed, more heartache and angst. We will see yet another enquiry that will recommend exactly the same  - fire management needs to improve. This DELWP created disaster happened just weeks after the Lancefield escape burn report and recommendations came out. It repeated what the last enquiry said, and the one before that and so on.

VicForests facing legal action again

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

St Patricks River catchment old growthThe 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.”

50 year forest war – negotiation starts

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Will the 50 year forest war in Victoria be coming to an end? Will we all be able to reach consensus on a win-win solution? The Andrews government has set up a taskforce between industry and environment reps to get down to the job of sorting the conflict out once and for all. It could involve looking at the large plantation estate we have in the west of the state which could be the secure future the industry needs, and the way to bring peace to our battered forests and dependent wildlife.

VicForests' dividend - the truth!

Friday, November 13, 2015

invoice to VicForests from the Victorian public 2015

View invoice (PDF) here

Opening VicForests 2014 - 2015 Annual Report, the corporation's chairman, Gordon Davies, makes the proud assertion that "These results have enabled us to pay increasing dividends to the Government, providing a financial return to the people of Victoria in addition to all of the social benefits the native timber industry provides". This is reinforced by a similar claim in the CEO's Report, "Our ongoing positive financial position has enabled us to pay dividends to our shareholder, the Treasurer - $250,000 based on the 2012-13 results, $765,000 on the 2013-14 results and a proposed $1.5 million based on this year’s results". 

In case anybody has missed it, "Payment of a dividend of $765,000 based on 2013-14 results", is reiterated as a 'Highlight' of the Annual Report. 

These misleading claims appear to be deliberately repeated in order to imply that a dividend was paid during the reporting year.

Lancefield fire investigatator scrutinised

Saturday, October 17, 2015

After the escaped burn around Lancefield during the week of 6 October burnt 3,000 hectares, destroyed 4 homes, dozens of sheds, fences and pasture, the Victorian Government has commissioned Mr Murray Carter to oversee an enquiry.

Murray Carter Mr Carter was the Manager of the WA Department of Environment and Conservation’s Fire Management Services at the time of WA’s horrific Margaret River fires in 2011. Escaped burns there destroyed 32 homes, nine chalets, four sheds and burnt out more than 3,400 hectares. A 50,000 hectare wildfire south of Nannup, a small town 70 km east of Margaret river, was also caused by an escape from a prescribed burn lit at the same time as the Margaret River burns. These were the two most costly and disastrous escapes from prescribed burns in WA and it all happened under Mr Carter’s management.

Mr Carter was then promoted to Director of Western Australia's Office of Bushfire Risk Management. He appears to have no qualifications in fire ecology or risk management, but has worked within the WA bureaucracy for many years.

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