Media release 6 February 2019

Logging of old growth forests at Granite Mountain in East Gippsland has been successfully halted into the third day. The camp has been visited by logging contractors and VicForests representatives, but government authorities are yet to arrive on site.

Logging of old growth forests at Granite Mountain in East Gippsland has been successfully halted into the third day. The camp has been visited by logging contractors and VicForests representatives, but government authorities are yet to arrive on site.

A brave conservationist remains suspended 20 meters above the ground on a platform in a tree preventing access and logging in the area. They are determined to continue their efforts to save these last remaining stands of ancient forests, despite risking arrest and braving wet conditions.

“Up here in the tree sit I’m staying dry and in good spirits, from the tree I can see the clouds moving between the huge canopies of these giant trees. I’ll stay up here for as long as I can because I support the people willing to take action to defend our threatened species, water catchments and carbon storage for future generations,” they stated.

“If we don’t act fast to protect what’s left of Victoria’s old growth forests, we will lose a precious line of defence against the looming threat of climate change,” they said.

Across Australia the impact of climate change is having devastating effects on our natural environment. Unprecedented flooding events in Townsville, the mass fish deaths and ecological collapse of the Murray-Darling Basin and the catastrophic fire events rampaging across Tasmania. Meanwhile in Victoria, the so-called progressive Labor government continues to log some of the world’s most carbon dense forests. When these forests are logged and burnt the stored carbon is released into the atmosphere, which accelerates climate change.

Scientific evidence shows that logging old wet forests increases fire risk. A young regrowth forest burns much hotter and more intensely than an old forest. Studies undertaken by the Australian National University have found that logging dries out the forest floor and in time creates a more fire prone landscape due to the dense thirsty regrowth (1).

“Native forest logging in Victoria has no place in the twenty-first century. Our planet desperately needs leadership and action from our state politicians to mitigate the disastrous effects of the current climate emergency.” says Christine Schuringa of Forest Conservation Victoria.

Logging in Victoria has no social license, a recent leaked study by Forest Wood and Products Australia (FWPA) found the majority of people in regional Victoria said native forest logging was unacceptable (2). In the last week alone, nearly 4000 people (3) have sent emails to the Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews demanding his government intervene and protect the old growth forest currently under threat of logging.

Forest Conservation Victoria acknowledge the thousands of years of custodianship over the land and waters of so-called East Gippsland by the Bidwell, Ngario and Gunnai Kurnai nations. We pay our respects to elders past present and emerging and acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded.

1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/conl.12122
2. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-09/forestry-survey-rejects-native-fo...
3. http://www.geco.org.au/granite_mountain_old_growth_being_logged_take_action

About the author

Forest Conservation Victoria is run by people deeply concerned with the continued logging of Victorian native forests by the Andrew's state Labor government. We protect forests by carrying out peaceful direct action in some of Victoria's highest conservation value forests.

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