East Gippsland forest protest re-established

January 21, 2016

Conservationists from Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) have re-established a forest blockade in the Kuark forest north-east of Orbost in East Gippsland, Victoria.

A person in a tree platform tied to logging machinery stopped logging for four days. Another person is also positioned 8 metres above the ground on a timber tripod, blocking access to the contentious logging coupe. A third person is positioned up a large timber pole attached to logging machines, which is preventing logging from continuing.

GECO spokesperson Ed Hill said: “Kuark forest is rich in unique fauna, rainforest and several threatened species found nowhere else on earth. Kuark forest urgently needs to be protected as a biodiversity corridor linking the mountain environments of Errinundra National Park to the coast.

“VicForests has failed to follow the logging rules that require a threatened species survey before logging. VicForests claim the area is not threatened species habitat, but our citizen science surveys have detected the endangered Long-footed potoroo and the critically endangered East Gippsland galaxias fish, that is found nowhere else on earth other than the Kuark forest.

“The rules state that where an endangered fish species is found, a 100m buffer extending 1km upstream and downstream from where the fish is found will be excluded from logging.

“The state government is refusing to implement this management action. It appears the Victorian government would prefer to protect VicForests logging operations, rather than protect endangered species and make sure the logging rules are followed.”

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