A Greater Glider forest refuge was being clearfelled by VicForests through July and August in an extremely provocative act while taskforce members negotiated. This created extreme volatility between the government, its Forest Taskforce (set up to solve Vic’s long and bitter forest dispute), environment groups and VicForests. The logging coupes in our current legal case are all part of it.
After weeks of intense work by our four enviro reps, the survey team’s persistence and by EEG and our expert lawyers, VicForests finally wrote to our lawyers on 11th August saying they were pulling out! The government has ordered a survey to verify Greater Gliders in threshold numbers that would protect 100 ha. We suspect VicForests will move into another high value area soon, so the battle continues.
The stand-off was not so much over just planned logging of a 40 ha forest, but what it represented and the way VicForests was allowed to show contempt for the Taskforce, to undermine negotiations and ignore what we believe was their obligation to survey before they logged. It remains to be seen if VicForests will continue to send bulldozers into areas the Taskforce requested be treated as no-go zones during negotiations. This includes areas of Leadbeaters Possum habitat in the Central Highlands as well as high value forests in East Gippsland.
You can keep up with the progress of the Taskforce to date and what it should investigate in the months ahead here.