How can an audit that has found environmental breaches on almost all the coupes checked possibly end up with a result of 93% compliance? The latest audit of logging in Victoria’s forests will leave many environmentalists convinced that these Audits are totally worthless exercises that have done nothing to protect biodiversity in our forests. One of the reasons for the audit result is that around half of the things checked by the auditors are checks to make sure paperwork has been filled in correctly.
TWS Vic and MyEnvironment Inc. have played private eye for the last 12 weeks to study a supply chain of logs that have been leaving our fire ravaged forest and ending up in Footscray. The forest were once home to the endangered faunal emblem of Vic - the Leadbeaters Possum.
The report to Treasury on the performance of VicForests was revealed in late February via an FOI by the Age newspaper. >Read it here. . It details much of their mismanagement and appalling behaviour. They have illegally logged forests, not adhered to their charter, not regenerated thousands of hectares of logged forest, lost millions of public money and of course thumbed their nose at environmental regulations.
After a complaint was made about the content of VicForests’ “Flora, Fauna and Wood Production” factsheet, they have pulled it off their web site and replaced it with several new “fact” sheets that are just about as bad as the original.
VicForests has been running around media outlets trying to build “relationships” and in the latest Sustainability report they brag that they have:
increased our capacity to be a source of credible facts and figures about the timber industry.
Recent checks by EEG of VicForests corporate reports have found examples of VicForests blatantly misrepresenting its environmental performance in a recent corporate report. VicForests has boasted in its 2008 Corporate Plan Highlights report that there had been “measurable improvements in the environmental performance of forest management operations on State forest.”
This map showed the unparalleled mapping of logging coupes planned to wipe out an entire landscape. VicForests plotted these coupes on the map just after the Brown Mt Court case in 2010. If we didn’t know them any better we’d say this was an act of revenge.
After discussions between green groups and the certifying agents of the Forest Stewardship Council in mid 2009 - supposedly the most reputable forest certifying body in the world, VicForests were thankfully refused endorsement by the FSC.