The 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.”
“To make things worse, rainforest in this area has not been protected from logging. As far as we are aware, VicForests has already logged unlawfully within the protected rainforest buffer.”
The forest (Bellman Coupe 842-518-35) is part of the St Patricks River catchment south west of Goolengook and NE of Orbost.
“EEG has had concerns for a number of years that VicForests has been making its own decisions on where to survey based more on its commercial interests rather than actual concern for protecting old growth habitat and rare native animals.”
“More areas of high quality habitat are planned for imminent logging and we believe they have also been overlooked for surveying. The less they find, the more they can cut down.
“We’ve told the Andrews Government about these issues and hope it will pull VicForests into line, but we haven’t had any indication yet that they plan to take action”