Rainforests


 

One of VicForests most common breaches of the law and codes is its destruction of protected rainforest. The foresters and contractors love knocking it out where they can. Despite a simpleton's guide to identifying rainforest, the trained tree counters still can’t manage to do it, even with a picture book of plants to refer to. It has been their most consistent serious breach in every logging audit since they began in 2004.

KUARK – protecting a forest ark

22 September 2016

Supreme Court Case

EEG’s history of taking legal action has become legendary. We are now progressing another legal case to protect some of East Gippsland’s most beautiful stands of forest in an area known as the Kuark (koo-ark). This began in January 2016, with a successful injunction to stop logging granted in February 2016 (until the case is finalised). We argue that VicForests failed to properly look for and protect threatened wildlife, native plants and rainforest.

How it began

There had been a number of other areas in East Gippsland where the citizen science work of GECO and FFRC had identified wildlife such as Greater Gliders and Yellow-bellied Gliders in areas planned for logging. With the evidence of these species and the help of EEG’s lawyers at EJA writing to VicForests, several forest stands were protected or partly protected. The combination of volunteer survey findings and legal assistance were very effective. 

However, after the survey crews and our lawyers had informed VicForests of findings in three particular coupes in the Kuark forests, it refused to do what we believed they were obliged to, as they had in the other areas.  Despite relevant legislation, the EG Forest Management Plan, Management Procedures, Planning Standards and the Code of Practice for Timber Production, logging continued.

EEG applied for and was granted an urgent interlocutory injunction on 13th February 2016.    We are now seeking orders declaring that the logging in these coupes is unlawful and to continue this injunction until VicForests comply with their legal obligations.

 

The three forest stands in dispute

There are three logging coupes in dispute. VicForests named one ‘Tin shed’, coupe number 830-507-0023, which was half logged (early January) but had not been surveyed despite the likely presence of rare species.

One to its south is called ‘Webbed feet’ coupe no 507-0020 (late Jan/Feb), and has a substantial area of rainforest within it. This coupe has had major disturbance from snig tracks across half the area but with only a relatively small part of it logged. The injunction prevented further damage.

The third coupe is called ‘Drop Bear’, numbered 507-0021 and was marked as ‘in progress’. It is an untouched stand of rich forest to the north west adjoining Webbed Feet that VicForests now claim it has no intention to log this year.

Summer legal actions stop VicForests in its (bulldozer) tracks

9 February 2016

On three occasions between mid-December 2015 and early February 2016, EEG has been forced to engage lawyers from Environment Justice Australia . We believe VicForests is consistently not taking its legal obligations regarding environmental protection seriously and Minister Neville’s Environment Department is yet to to take action. Keep reading for more details of our most recent legal adventures ...

VicForests facing legal action again

15 December 2015

The state government owned logging company VicForests, is in the legal crosshairs of environmentalists yet again.  Lawyers acting on behalf of Environment East Gippsland have this week formally requested an explanation as to why a rich habitat site suited for rare forest-dependant wildlife was not surveyed before logging commenced last week.

“We believe this is a strong case of non-compliance with the law”, said EEG’s Jill Redwood. “This beautiful stand of wet forest contains old growth trees, rainforest and many habitat traits essential for rare and threatened wildlife. It should have been surveyed.”

“We won our Brown Mountain case in 2010 when VicForests logged without checking for the presence of rare native animals.  It seems they haven’t learnt.”

GIANTS and RAINFOREST - going down today!

14 March 2013

For the past three weeks the giant trees of Mount Jersey have been falling at a rate so fast locals are saying it “sounds like a factory out in the forests, from early in the morning to late into the night, the machines don’t stop. Two to three trees on the back of one truck has become a common site."

Early in October 2013 members of the Goongerah Environment Centre visited a stand of old growth (coupe 891-512-02). They found serious rainforest breaches.

DSE - prosecuting while being prosecuted

20 August 2012

View through the log grabberIt reads like a silly Monty Python sketch, but this absurdity is real.

On 6th August the Department of Sustainability and Environment was to be in court prosecuting VicForests for criminally logging rainforests at Murrungowar in East Gippsland.

In a curious paradox, EEG served papers on DSE for not adhering to rainforest protection laws just three days before. That is - DSE is being sued for not protecting rainforests while at the same time DSE was to prosecute VicForests for logging rainforests.

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