Leaving only the ASH

The Andrews Government is torn between helping a group of workers in a small country town fighting for their jobs and caving in to a group of Melbourne investors happy for taxpayers to relieve them of their responsibilities, writes Michael Spencer.

The problem for the Andrews Government is that if it caves in to pressure over the Heyfield sawmill, what is the precedent that will be set? Why shouldn’t it then help workers at milk factories in northern Victoria, or any ...

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Mirboo North community hopes to buy Victorian state forest to prevent VicForests logging

A South Gippsland landowner has offered to buy state forest to prevent the timber being harvested by Victorian Government-owned logging company VicForests.

Jon Wood runs beef cattle on the edge of the intended harvest area at Mirboo North in eastern Victoria, and said harvesting the logs would reduce land value.

VicForests has outlined plans to harvest up to 50 hectares of timber near the town.

“It’s a tiny little precinct of a biodiverse eucalypt forest, in a region totally devastated by farming ...

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Heyfield timber mill: Victorian Government completes purchase

UPDATE: THE Victorian Government will not say how much it has spent to buy the Heyfield timber mill.

A spokesman for the Government said the figure was confidential, but The Weekly Times understands the business was independently valued at close to $40 million.

Employment Minister Wade Noonan will be responsible for the timber mill, which will be run with a board of management and existing Australian Sustainable Hardwoods management. It is not clear yet who will be on the board, or ...

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Endangered animals threatened by logging, environment groups allege

Victoria’s state-owned logging company breached rules protecting native animals and rainforests almost 30 times over three years, environment groups allege in a new report.

The report comes after a dead koala was found in a logged section of forest in the Acheron Valley near Marysville that was home to the endangered Greater Glider.

As revealed by Fairfax Media earlier this year the ...

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Greater gliders: fears of ‘catastrophic’ consequences from logging in Victoria

Gliders listed as threatened by both state and federal governments, but they are not protected by legislation

Logging has begun in trees inhabited by the threatened greater gliders in a forest also inhabited by Victoria’s faunal emblem, the threatened Leadbeater’s possum.

Protections for the remaining Leadbeater’s possum population – believed to be fewer than 2,500 breeding individuals left in the wild – mean logging will be halted within 200m of known colonies. But no such protection exists for the greater gliders, which ...

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Regional Forest Agreements fail to meet their aims

Species declines and unsustainable forestry evident under RFAs
Pr. David Lindenmayer, ANU; Ann Jelinek, Nature Focus Victoria; Oisin Sweeney, National Parks Association of NSW
 
The 20-year Regional Forest Agreements between State and Commonwealth governments are due for renewal. They aim to allow native forest harvesting while providing for conservation and future industry. RFA legislative framing precludes important federal legislation, reducing protection for native species of conservation concern. RFAs have comprehensively failed to achieve their key aims. Instead, vertebrate species declines, ...

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Malcolm Turnbull caves in to Tasmanian loggers

Last weekend, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull flew to Launceston for the Tasmanian Liberals’ yearly conference.

Accompanied by Premier Will Hodgman, Turnbull’s first stop was the timber yard of logging company Neville-Smith Forest Products, once a part of the now-fallen Gunns logging empire. Twenty years after John Howard signed the first Regional Forest Agreement with Tasmania, Turnbull was in town to give Tasmania’s loggers all they wanted for the next 20 years and more. There was not a protester in sight.

What a ...

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Wildlife killed by department burn in fauna reserve

THE state environment department has defended its fire management practice which led to the incineration of a colony of rare New Holland mice.

In early May, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, and Forest Five Management Victoria carried out a burn in the Providence Ponds Flora and Fauna Reserve near Stratford.

The reserve is one of only three ...

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