Dirty tactics by VicForests?

Forest campaigners accused of spiking roads.

On 16th June 2021, about 5 weeks after our injunction in the Supreme Court forced VicForests’ logging crew out of important forests, the CEO of VicForests sent us an email notice. It asked us to discourage people from putting spikes in roads. It’s dangerous we are told. The photo supplied was of such low resolution it was difficult to tell if they were iceypole sticks or texta penned in. It certainly appeared to be a side track as well, not the main road as claimed. The below was our reply.

Attn: Monique Dawson (VicForests CEO).
Thanks for the heads up on this latest public announcement from VicForests. We have seen a long history of such claims and often timed to assist the logging industry when its credibility is very low. The pattern shows there is almost never proof of whether the claimed crime was carried out by forest campaigners or industry players, or in fact was real.

We can cite at least three of these with plenty more evidence in the files if you are unaware of the history of these types of industry dirty tricks. In fact Bob Burton has compiled a large dosier of such tactics.

The attached photo (sent with the notice) shows no details. Such a close stationary photo should provide far more high resolution than that offered. It reminds us of the more recent ‘fuzzy maps’ that were the excuse to log in areas that were not legally allocated to VicForests.

You will of course know that we successfully had logging halted over a month ago now when VicForests gave an undertaking in the Supreme Court to halt its operations in the Playgrounds Track area. No machines have been operating since, so why spikes would suddenly turn up now is a mystery.

We are not saying this did not happen, but we are extremely sceptical given the history of such claimed incidents. If you could provide us with a clearer image of the supposed spikes and the police report we would be more inclined to take this seriously.

Comments on our facebook page make it very clear that the public are well aware of these dirty tactics.

  • “More FAKE NEWS claims from VicForests”
  • “In a hearing in VCAT, Victoria Police said there had been no instances of tree spiking in Victoria. They also said that there had been damage to some logging equipment, but in all cases they knew of, this was attributable to rival loggers. The false narrative about damage has been more destructive than the supposed problem.”
  • “There is no way any Forest activist would do this. Forest activism is about saving the environment and the lives of animals and people through stopping destructive logging practices. It’s the loggers and rednecks who constantly threaten violence against environmentalists – its well documented on Facebook posts and in real life! Most likely some angry loggers – time and time again they show little care for the lives of others”.
  • “How many more times will they come out with these false accusations? We all know it is crap!”
  • “I wonder why they would put spikes in front of a tree that people would need to stop to remove and see the spikes straight away …”
  • “If someone wanted to spike tyres then iridescent orange would have been even sillier than near iridescent yellow, maybe a shortage of iridescent orange paint? The one on the left in particular looks to have been painted after it was put in the ground, making it far more visible.”
  • “Wayyyy too pixelated to tell what’s going on. Easily a fake photo. Might as well be a photo of a ghost of a UFO for the quality offered there.”
  • “VicForests are getting so desperate they’re just making themselves look silly.”

For a 2.6 meg photo the VicForests PR department could have done a much better job with this image.
We have not received a higher resolution image or the police report as requested.

This was the letter emailed to us 5 weeks after logging had been stopped and the GECO protest camp had been dismantled.

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