The brazen illegal logging of the Snowy National Park, along 60 km of its boundary during the January 2003 fires, shocked many people – even DSE personnel. An investigation was carried out into how this happened and where the logs went. The report has now been officially swept under the carpet.
At the time of the discovery, Environment East Gippsland was promised a copy of the final investigation’s report. We have been badgering the DSE for this for over a year. We have been fobbed off with excuses regarding the document awaiting a signature, or lawyers looking at the implications of the report’s findings. Then we were promised it would be released under Parliamentary privilege, allowing names to be publicised. This was to have been two weeks after Easter. The last communication with the Minister’s office saw them lift the carpet and sweep it fully underneath. Why? Something about the Speaker of the House not approving the report’s tabling – ? There is some very dirty politicking going on here.
So certain industry people have exercised their vengeance on National Parks, destroyed its scenic and habitat values for decades to come, scooted away with free logs, and have been hidden and protected. However, we are still pursuing this one via the Auditor General’s Office. They are currently waiting for a response from the Dept of Securities and recommending the whole affair be investigated. We wonder if the East Gippsland logging mafia’s influence extends as far as the Auditor General’s Office.