Survey Challenges

Since our successful Brown Mountain Supreme Court case win in 2010, VicForests has been obliged to ‘look before they log’ to identify threatened wildlife and important values such as rainforest. VicForests has been carrying out very limited surveys and has been failing to find values that Citizen Scientists have identified, recorded and reported on. This has happened in forests planned for logging that had no on-ground field surveys, as well as those which did but the contracted surveyors didn’t find the values that were there.

The Citizen Scientists and survey teams from both GECO and FFRC provided detailed surveys to the compliance section within the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP). It is the role of DELWP to enforce legislation that protects rare plants and animals. Sometimes they did their job and sometimes they didn’t.

This is where EEG and the environmental lawyers from EJA stepped in. These articles document some of the finds and the protection measures that were put in place since Dec 2015.

Gaining ground for Gliders

Monday, February 22, 2016

EEG is again suing VicForests in the Supreme Court

VicForests refused to stop logging an area rich in rare wildlife in the Kuark forest Block, home to Yellow-bellied Gliders, Long-footed Potoroos, rare plants, rainforest and the critically endangered new species of Galaxias fish.

On Friday (12/2/16) our lawyers at Environment Justice Australia (EJA) filed a writ in the Supreme Court against VicForests over its logging in this stand of forest, south of Goolengook (30km NE of Orbost).

VicForests still refused to stop logging and so we were forced to seek an urgent injunction on the Saturday. A temporary injunction was granted and VicForests has since agreed not to log until March 21st. EJA is now preparing the necessary documents for this case to proceed.

Summer legal actions stop VicForests in its (bulldozer) tracks

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

On three occasions between mid-December 2015 and early February 2016, EEG has been forced to engage lawyers from Environment Justice Australia . We believe VicForests is consistently not taking its legal obligations regarding environmental protection seriously and Minister Neville’s Environment Department is yet to to take action. Keep reading for more details of our most recent legal adventures ...

 

VicForests forced to survey

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Yellow-bellied Glider (Petaurus australis)Our latest legal action has today forced VicForests‬ to survey Kuark forest for threatened species.

With help from our lawyers at Environmental Justice Australia, Environment East Gippsland's latest legal action has seen VicForests agree to halt logging and survey for rare wildlife and plants in a stand of East Gippsland’s forests rich in threatened species.

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. 

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.”