Goongerah Environment Centre

Victoria's environment department has charged the government-owned logging agency VicForests over its illegal logging of rainforest buffer zones in East Gippsland. The allegations relate to a logging operation in the Serpentine Creek Rainforest Site of Significance near Cann River, which caused serious damage to protected warm temperate rainforest.

Police broke up a peaceful blockade of an old growth forest logging operation at Granite Mountain in East Gippsland, Victoria, on January 31.

Conservationists from the Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) established the blockade and for 10 days managed to prevent logging of an untouched area of old growth forest.

A man, known as Possum, who was suspended in a hammock hanging from a 10 metre tripod structure that blocked access to the logging site, was arrested. He was charged and will appear in Orbost Magistrates court in April.  

Environment groups have raised concerns about the Victorian and federal governments’ decision to extend the East Gippsland Regional Forest Agreement (RFA). 

The RFA is a 20-year agreement between state and federal governments that exempts logging from compliance with federal environment law if the state implements measures to protect federally-listed threatened species. 

Goongerah Environment Centre spokesperson Ed Hill said: “Since the RFA was signed 20 years ago, federally-listed threatened species have dramatically declined.

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.

The Victorian government has fined three conservationists from the Goongerah Environment Centre who entered a logging coupe to document illegal rainforest logging. They were each fined $440 for entering a “timber harvesting safety zone”.

In April the three entered an area being harvested by VicForests to investigate concerns that rules designed to protect vulnerable plant communities were being flouted by the government logging corporation.

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