Victoria’s forests are not magic puddings

Matt Ruchel, member of the Forest Industry Task Force and our executive director, explains why sawmills and the pulp and paper industry don’t understand how forests work.

Forests are living ecosystems, not magic puddings, and cannot supply something that doesn’t exist.

The recent declaration by VicForests, the state government’s logging agency, that there is insufficient wood to supply Gippsland sawmills, is hardly surprising – the writing has been on the wall for decades, made worse by the Black Saturday fires.

The blame for ...

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Heyfield timber mill plea misleading

LIKE politician Danny O’Brien, I’m angry about the Australian Sustainable Hardwoods sawmill debacle.

Very angry. This disaster should have been avoided. Successive governments, of all persuasions, have badly mismanaged timber resources.

A sawmill company is now gaming the system, demanding access to timber it knows is not there. Sawmill workers will be losers.

But so will Victorian taxpayers, who are being asked for a $40 million handout to prop up an industry that will never repay its debts.

It is a rescue package ...

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VicForests finally admits – the logs aren’t there

Forests are not a Magic Pudding and this fact finally caught up with the government and VicForests in January 2017.  Knocking down forests faster than they can regrow has been the management standard for decades by every logging agency and overseen and excused by every government (Liberal and Labor). After such cut-throat management, the industry and workers are now screaming that their throats have been cut because the limit has been reached; forests can no longer provide the sawlogs demanded.

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Logging plan puts squeeze on Victoria’s high value native forests

VicForests’ timber release plan targets 12,000 hectares of East Gippsland forest. Photo: John Renowden

Victoria has taken the dubious title of being the largest logger of Australian native forest by volume, accounting for around a third of all native forest logged in the country over the past year.

The state government agency VicForests logged more than 1.3 ...

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VicForests logs Powerful Owl habitat for …. firewood?

Powerful Owl (Image Duncan Fraser)

You’ve got to be joking, right? VicForests are spruiking the importance of  firewood as a sustainable product from Parlour’s Creek coupe. Is firewood really such an important part of their business model?

Which kind of means that they’re logging Powerful Owl and Greater Glider habitat for firewood!

Minister d’Ambrosio – can you and your Department of Environment honestly endorse this action? ...

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The CEO of VicForests bails out

Ironically, after years of overseeing the destruction of Victoria’s forest, Robert Green, CEO of VicForests will soon be taking up a position running the NZ Timberlands plantations.

In the interim, Robert Green’s position will be filled by Nathan Trushell, General Planning Manager.   Also – we hear that Gordon Davies has resigned from the Board of VicForests.

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Logging starts in Strathbogies

The natural beauty of the Strathbogie State Forest.

After years of discussion and campaigning, environment groups feel like they are losing the battle to protect Strathbogie State Forest with VicForests beginning its logging operation.

Euroa Environment Group and Strathbogie State Forest Group want a thorough assessment of the forest values to establish how much forest is available for sustainable logging and ensure it ...

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High drama turned into a High five!

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 ...

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VicForests to employ an East Gipp Field Ecologist

We have grave concerns that VicForests is positioning itself to carry out its own surveys in forests planned for logging. Before now it has hired independent expert consultant biologists to do the work – albeit minimal. This recently advertised new position points to this backward move. Pre-logging surveys will have very little credibility if this is allowed.   More importantly the organisation needs to change its criteria for deciding which areas are surveyed and what species are looked for. Currently these ...

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