DSE challenged over Yalmy illegal logging report

Environment East Gippsland will challenge the government in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal over their refusal to release under FOI, names in the documents relating to the looting of the Snowy National Park during the fires of February 2003.

Over the past two years we have:

  • endured months of being mucked around by the Freedom Of Information unit of the DSE,
  • filed a complaint to the Ombudsman for DSE’s tardiness in carrying out their legal duties,
  • complained to the Minister over the FOI unit taking our money for documents they didn’t release to us,
  • been subjected to other endless and infantile blocking tactics.

We believe we have a very good argument. Liz in Melbourne and champion Lawyer For Forests campaigner, Vanessa Bleyer, is helping with the case.

The sanitised and deodorised “Summary Report” into the illegal logging identified conflict of interest, mismanagement and pressure from logging interests to obtain logs when everyone else was fighting the horrific fires. But it didn’t name those involved or quantify the stolen logs to suggest where they went. The case goes to VCAT in June.

Auditor General’s investigation

EEG brought the issue of the disappearance of publicly owned logs from the Yalmy fire line to the Auditor General’s attention. His office has looked into where the logs went and DSE’s role in it and also assessed their internal report. The AG’s report should be tabled in Parliament during the May sitting.

Jill / Liz

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