After EEG launched a 10 month Supreme Court battle, the government’s logging agency VicForests, has agreed to await further surveys and put in place protections for wildlife and plants before logging. The court orders made on 23rd December detail VicForests obligations regarding the high value forests.
The East Gippsland Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) is a 20-year arrangement between state and federal governments that gives special immunity to the logging industry from Federal environment laws - laws that should protect nationally listed threatened species.
Habitat loss is the most insidious of all threats facing land-living wildlife, and protected areas like national parks are one of the best ways to combat the destruction. But in research published recently in Conversation Letters, we show that in some places the pace of protected areas isn’t keeping up with the losses.
We found that since 1992, an area of natural habitat two-thirds the size of Australia has been converted to human use (such as farms, logging or cities). Half of the world’s land area is now dominated by humans.
VOTERS in three inner-Melbourne electorates overwhelmingly want the Victorian Government to stop logging native forest in favour of the proposed 355,000-hectare Great Forest National Park.
Polling conducted by Lonergan Research for the Greens shows that 96 per cent of voters in Richmond, Brunswick and Northcote believe the State Government has an obligation to protect Victoria’s native forest.
More than one third of respondents said the decision to create a national park, from Kinglake across the Yarra Ranges to Mt Baw Baw and north to Lake Eildon, would have a large influence on their vote
Having a list of rare and endangered species is not much good if there is no binding plan to protect them.
The Long nosed Potoroo (Potorous tridactylus tridactyl)
As a result of the legal proceedings initiated in the Supreme Court on 21 May 2013 by EDO on behalf of EEG, the then environment Department, DEPI, agreed to immediately prepare protection plans called Action Statements, for four of about 700 listed species (over half did not have Action Statements). DEPI is legally obliged under section 19 of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act to produce Action Statements as soon as possible after listing.
The species we chose to force the government to act were the Glossy Black-Cockatoo, the Long-Nosed Potoroo, the Large Brown Tree Frog and the Eastern She-Oak Skink. This was a start but we soon discovered that these plans can often be little more than motherhood statements.
Bunnings sells wood from the ash forests of the Central Highlands – which are listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN list of endangered ecosystems. It’s also the habitat of the Critically Endangered Leadbeaters Possum. Yet it claims it only sells ethical, legal and sustainable timber.
You can sign the petition, which has already upset Bunnings, here.
Our Supreme Court case against VicForests did not settle at court-ordered mediation on 24th August. EEG and our team of excellent lawyers were planning to be back in the Melbourne Supreme Court again on October 26th to again argue the case.
BUT the Court adjourned our case due to ongoing DELWP investigations and VicForests recent disclosure of new documents. We will be heading off to the Melbourne Supreme Court on 6th February 2017 now - for an 8 day trial. We will be arguing that VicForests failed to identify and protect threatened plants and animals at logging coupes in the Kuark forests. This is going to be an important case for threatened species protection in Victoria.
EEG and our lawyers are set to go, but we do need your help - in a big way. A very generous supporter has offered us a matching dollar for dollar donation of up to $10,000. But she needs to know we have public support. That means if we can raise $10,000 from our members and followers, it will actually give us $20,000 to help our case! Good deal? As donations to EEG are tax-deductible you can also claim them back when you do your tax.
The case will raise legal questions that we hope will provide findings with wider ramifications than just in the disputed areas, as with the Brown Mountain findings. Those findings resulted in VicForests carrying out (limited) pre-logging surveys that it never had done in the past.