Forest protectors are heroes!

Celebrate – don’t incarcerate them

June 24, 2022

Across the country, extreme laws targeting the people protecting our precious forests are being introduced.

Tripod blocking a logging road – Kuark forests – 2016.

In Victoria the Andrews govt is threatening to fine people who try to protect forests from bulldozers up to $21,000 or jail them for 12 months.  As well they are increasing VicForests powers to search people’s bags and cars and charge them indiscriminately.

This bill turns passionate environmentalists into criminals for being whistle blowers and trying to protect our public forests. 

But it’s VicForests and the loggers who are breaking the law.  Isn’t it time the Victorian government cleaned up its act and simply enforced existing environmental laws designed to protect our forests and rare wildlife? 

When the loggers break the law, forest protectors slow down the destruction by stopping bulldozers and climbing high into the trees and staying there.  This is what finally saved the old growth forests of Goolengook in East Gippsland in the late 1990s and 2000.

More recently VicForests were trying to log vitally important unburnt refuge habitat for endangered Greater Gliders.  GECO bravely/heroically held up the destruction of forest near Bendoc for weeks – long enough for EEG’s legal injunction to swing into gear and halt logging while our court case was heard.

Tree-climbers and tree-sit to halt logging of rare Glider habitat. Nr Playgrounds Track, Bendoc, 2021.

That court case is just one of 9 being taken by conservationists against VicForests for illegal logging.

Pandering to the logging union, Daniel Andrews watered down logging regulations to try and legalise illegal logging.  They promised to change the Code of Logging Practice to “minimise the risk to short-term supply obligations (to logging companies) arising from third-party litigation (conservation court cases)”. 

Cobb Hill illegal rainforest logging was eventually protected by stopping machinery and legal action in 2012.

But even after weakening the environment laws so much logging is still way outside the law – in fact our court case is only one of NINE court cases running against illegal logging at the moment.

The brave people that held up the lawless vandalism of our forests, could now to be criminalised and jailed. They were trying to uphold the law – which is actually the government’s job in a democratic system.

By contrast there are endless examples of loggers threatening, intimidating, physically assaulting and harassing environmentalists, and vandalising their property.   Let’s get things around the right way here.  Forest protectors are the heroes.  The loggers are the ones breaking the law. 

Stop logging, save our forests and wildlife – and celebrate (not incarcerate) our forest protection heroes!

This Bill is targeting the wrong end of the problem. The Andrews government simply needs to enforce the laws that are in place to protect public forests and rare wildlife, and there would be no protests”.

Playgrounds Track near Bendoc, 2021, in rare Greater Glider habitat.
Forest protectors are locked into machinery to prevent logging.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *