Media Release, Monday 21 November, 2011
This morning conservationists have again halted logging in rainforest on Survey Road in far East Gippsland. Five logging machines have been cabled off to a treesit in the forest canopy.
"As if it wasn't enough that VicForests had sent their logging contractors into a coupe containing precious old-growth forest; conservationists have now verified that rainforest has been logged on site as well", said spokesperson Amelia Young.
Logging of rainforest in Victoria is in breach of regulations governing logging operations, including the Code of Forest Practice and the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act.
"State government regulation requires that stands of rainforest be protected from some of the impacts of logging by a buffer of at least forty metres. On site in this logging coupe on Survey Road there are various locations where logging has occurred within what should be a forty metre buffer.
The conservationists allegations have been presented to the relevant authority.
"We would like the Department of Sustainability and Environment to properly investigate these issues, immediately halt logging operations and ensure adequate rainforest buffers are implemented and adhered to."
Rainforests are an especially vulnerable ecological community and are listed as threatened under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act.
"Increased exposure to light and wind causes major drying out of this sensitive ecological community that, due to decades of logging and land clearing, is already reduced to covering less than one per cent of the state. This isn't the first time VicForestsf 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 breaches 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