Media Release, Tuesday 22 November, 2011
For the second day this week, and for the second week in a row, controversial logging operations on Survey Road in far East Gippsland have been stopped by conservationists on site.
Five logging machines have again been cabled off to a tree-sit occupied by protestors and suspended forty metres in the canopy in the logging coupe situated on the edge of the Errinundra National Park.
Last Thursday conservationists handed survey findings showing that rainforest had been logged within the coupe to the relevant authority, the Department of Sustainability and Environment, requesting that the logging be immediately stopped and that a proper investigation be undertaken.
Logging of rainforest is unlawful in Victoria, under both the Code of Forest Practice and the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act.
Yesterday conservationists resumed protest activity at the site as VicForests’ contentious logging operations in the coupe have not yet been halted by either the responsible Minister, nor by the relevant authority.
“Before last year’s state election, the current Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh stated that under a Coalition government, the native forest logging industry would be properly policed”, said spokesperson for the conservationists, Amelia Young.
“That in 2011, and under his watch, rainforest is still being logged in Victoria is a disgrace.”
Logging within or adjacent to rainforest causes changes to the rainforest microclimate, making it drier. Indeed, the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act Action Statement notes that cool temperate rainforest is ‘in a demonstrable state of decline likely to result in extinction.’
“This isn’t the first time VicForests’ logging contractors have been caught logging rainforest in East Gippsland”, said Ms Young. “In 2009 rainforest was positively identified in a coupe adjacent to this one, along the same gully system. In that instance, the Department confirmed the facts, concluding that logging activities had caused major environmental impact.
“These repeated rainforest logging infractions make mockery of claims that logging in Victoria is lawful and is among world’s best practice”, concluded Ms Young.
For further comment: Amelia Young 0404 074 577