In 2009, EEG decided to roll out the big guns and sue the state government for breaking its own laws. This set a major precedent, allowing environment groups to sue the government over its plans to commit, or allow their state owned logging entity to commit an environmental crime. So far we have been successful with six legal challenges and with the financial support of the public we intend to continue suing those who illegally vandalise our forests.
Government can lie to the voters and media but they can’t so easily lie to the courts.

What is a SLAPP suit?

It stands for Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation. A US invention, SLAPP suits intimidate people involved in protecting public assets. They do this by engaging them in expensive and time-consuming legal battles, therefore achieving their goal of weakening and disarming their critics even before a court determines an outcome. Notable Australian SLAPP suits, and threats …

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Bracks government has allowed illegal logging for years

A Supreme Court judge has ruled that the Bracks government’s environmental code for logging native forests (Code of Forest Practices) is enforceable under law. Prior to this ruling, DSE argued that the only lawful requirements were that the coupe be in a logging zone and that the loggers have a licence to log. The ruling …

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Gunns trigger happy

Will protests against corporations become illegal? Twenty Tasmanian campaigners speaking out against Gunns Ltd, the Tasmanian woodchip company, are being sued for almost $6.4 million. They are accused of conspiracy and interference with trade and business. The 216-page writ was filed in the Victorian Supreme Court on 14th January and targets outspoken environmentalists including Peg …

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New Forest Bill – ALL spin – NO solutions!

The latest proposed changes to the Forests Act makes the Bracks Government less accountable and less obliged to consider biodiversity. A new Bill is ready to be passed that will set up an arm of DSE called Vicforests to manage the commercial side of logging. Premier Bracks made a pre-election promise that the Department of …

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Logging and the law – Code of Forest Practices – EPA watchdogs

Investigations by Lawyers For Forests (LFF), have shown that the Code of Forest Practices is vague, unenforceable and needs reform. Recently the Bracks government put the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) in charge of overseeing auditing of the Code, instead of government foresters. This is still a worry. For example, the EPA needs funding and powers …

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Goolengook Review

Before the election, Bracks promised a moratorium on logging the Goolengook forest while the Victorian Environment Assessment Council (VEAC) carried out an investigation. This is better than what we had, but the terms of reference proposed are very limited. They will focus only on swapping already reserved high value forests for Goolengook. A leaked Government …

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“These men knew exactly what they were doing”

Judge Ross on the vigilante rioters of Goolengook In late February 2000, 50 loggers from Orbost and its regions attacked campers at the Goolengook forest protest. They assaulted nine people and did $30,000 of property damage in a terrifying midnight attack. Ten of the loggers, who were originally charged with the serious crime of Riot …

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GOOLENGOOK – POST MORTEM

In a six week frenzy of destruction, during March and April, four coupes totaling 90 hectares of Goolengooks best forest were clearfelled. It is estimated to have cost the police and NRE up to $2 million to carry out the operation. The royalty gained from the destruction of these timeless forests was a piddling $100,000. …

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HUGE price rise ­1c in 5 years for woodchip logs

OVERLOGGING – NOW UNDERPRICING For the past two years, CROEG has been working to get figures released under FOI to show what prices our forests are going for. After many refusals, delays and denials of the existance of documents, the papers were finally released in late February. As we expected – the Department of Natural …

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Dingo Creek rainforest logging

As a result of arrests at the Dingo Creek rainforest coupe last Autumn, two protesters are challenging the charge of ‘obstructing a lawful logging operation’. The case has been heard for two days so far and the last session is on January 18th at Bairnsdale. The public are welcome to attend. The NRE have made …

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