14 December, 2011

MEDIA RELEASE: Supreme Court orders stop to logging East Gippsland rainforest

Environment East Gippsland presented the Court with official Victorian Government maps to show that the disputed area is a protected National Rainforest Site of Significance.  VicForests submitted that the maps were wrong, and that the government department was scrambling to move the boundaries on the official maps before Court resumes next Tuesday 20 December 2011.

"It's a huge win for the forests today", said EEG secretary Liz Ingham who attended the court. "The Court stopped the logging in the nick of time, to prevent a rainforest reserve being logged."

"VicForests blamed the government, saying the rainforest reserve maps were wrong. This is a suspiciously convenient excuse", she said.

"For a very long time, the government has presented the public with rainforest reserve maps. They didn't alter the reserve boundaries when VicForests moved in to log the reserve.  They only decided to move the reserve boundaries after our non-profit community environment group took VicForests to court. How convenient.  VicForests is a state-owned enterprise with Premier's brother in law on the Board."

"Up here on the ground, those blockading this area hung on for their lives in the forest waiting for the result. They are absolute forest heroes", said Ms Redwood.

The case returns to Court on Tuesday 20 December at 10.30am, at which time the Court will address a further halt to logging.

For comment: Jill Redwood - 5154 0145 / Liz Ingham 0409 333 595

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