Goolengook busted!!

At 5am on Tuesday 5th of March 2002 – the five year long blockade of the ancient forest masterpiece called Goolengook was broken up by police and NRE.

Two people remained in a lock-on device and a tree sit, slowing down the legalised vandalism of this area. NRE say they will start logging immediately they clear the rubble. We hear they plan to put three crews in to obliterate the area in super fast time.

This is as provocative as their sending ...

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Logging cut-back – con job

Don’t be deluded, the latest logging ‘cut-backs’ are little more than a huge spin-doctoring excercise. It’s business-as-usual for the big boys with a few small players out of the show. Not one tree will be saved. Their slight reduction in the small end of the industry doesn’t mean a reduction in area, it’s just a slight reduction in the time it will take to obliterate our forests. There’s a few hidden nasties in there too.

The government did a neat job ...

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The new environment misisters

Environment and Heritage

Robert Hills been replaced by David Kemp. Kemps been described as a “severe rationalist”, and has a manner that some say is condescending and disinterested. In his maiden speech in 1990 he said that Australian Governments had been steered by minority pressure groups and that they instead need to listen to the mainstream and ignore the radicals. Hes a supporter of the user pays principle so well see if he applies this to the users of the environment ...

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Polishing the turd – The 5 yearly review of the EG RFA

he promised five yearly review of the East Gippsland RFA looks like being delayed another year. Its shaping up to be a rank job an attempt to sanitise whats totally on the nose. The States do their own assessment, pretend theyve honoured their environmental duty, have token public input, give themselves a tick, and dont dare invite any independent third party audits. Both Labor and the Coalition continue to pretend their RFAs are scientific, sweet and rosy, but theyre only ...

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The end of the logging industry as we know it?

The Japanese economic downturn has seen orders for East Gippsland woodchips drop dramatically. The logging industry is now looking perilous. Strong rumours suggest this will be long term and serious. Coupled with this is the planned government cut-backs in log volumes due to past overcutting.

Chip trucks lying idle in Orbost, a blockade of the National Party members office by log trucks, demands for exit packages, stockpiles of chips, markets collapsing – who’d have thought wed see the day.

When woodchip markets ...

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Sweet RFA for our environment

Forests across Australia have been exempt from federal logging laws since RFAs were signed. Above is a destroyed stand of forest in the Acheron – logged under the RFA. Rare and threatened species have continued to be killed and habitats destroyed.

The Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) sprang from the Earth Summit conference in Rio de Janiero in 1992 where Australia signed a ‘Global ...

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Power and Morality

Like religion, power positions itself as the cure for the problem it has created.

Power without ethics creates elites who determine “reality” and create structures such as governments, religion, science institutions etc. They rely on “experts” who deliberately make simple reason too complex for the “ordinary”. Leaders manipulate reality and reason to suit. It is a powerful weapon. They never reflect on or criticise themselves and discourage and penalise others who do. But our weapon is simplicity and common sense.

Power comes ...

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And they call this auditing?

After a long battle, NRE has finally coughed up their last detailed audit report on compliance with the Code of Forest Practice (CFP – an environmental code that’s a bit of a joke in itself). I can see why they were reluctant to release this report, even though they were obliged to release all the internal CFP audit reports and supporting documents for East Gippsland.

Under the current arrangements, the NRE’s checks to see if the CFP is being followed are ...

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Secret SFRI data

NRE is currently trying to produce estimates of how much forest and log volumes are available that don’t leave everybody rolling around the floor with fits of laughter. The Statewide Forest Resource Inventory (SFRI) aims to replace the old system of estimates on “log volumes” (read “forests”).

NRE has produced quite a little PR campaign surrounding the SFRI project including CDs with detailed maps showing where they expect to find most of the trees. You could almost believe that NRE has ...

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Quoll’s extinction looms

It’s not guns and hunting like it was with the Thylacine, but the Spot-tailed (Tiger) Quoll is knowingly being annihilated by logging, poisoning and NRE’s latest “protection” plans.

Spot-tailed Quolls, the largest meat-eating marsupials surviving on the mainland, are on a slippery slide to extinction. They have gone >from rare to vulnerable to endangered in Victoria in just the last 10 years! However, the Victorian government’s measures to protect the Spot-tailed Quoll have been weakened in a draft rewriting of the ...

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