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Environment East Gippsland Forest Update June 2012
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"They ignore you, then they laugh at you,
then they fight you, and then you win".

                                                                                                      Mahatma Gandhi

cartoon - just keep bailing! Hello wonderful supporters,

Their ship is finally sinking. Below is just a sample of stories and how we are interpreting them. What appears to be bad news is in fact hiding some troubling times looming for VicForests and native forest logging in general. But first …

Many of our E-bulletin subscribers will have also received their Potoroo Review newsletter by now. Not only does this have more news it’s also easier to read at leisure and you can leave it lying about to influence others. But please - fell free to 'recycle' this e-bulletin as well and email it on. New supporters can click here and sign up to have these updates sent directly.

Image - Page 1 Potoroo Review 201 For those who aren’t a member, a wee $20 will have you on board and you’ll receive the famous Potoroo. Just click here to find out how to become a member.

Please - we’d love to have your support for the most kick-arse enviro group around.

ALSO - this newsletter is part 1 because there is so much news we can’t fit it all into one issue. But mostly - because we are hurrying to get this to you before the end of the month - why? It’s also the end of the financial year - and we need to kindly ask for your tax deductible donations.

These are what keep us kicking so please send us what you can and we’ll issue a tax receipt so you can claim it back off the tax department. Click here for easy online donations via ‘GiveNow’, email us here for our bank acct details, or post a cheque to EGG Locked bag 3 ORBOST 3888.

No time to waste - Sunday is the 1st of July. Thanks.

OK - on with the news!

  1. VicForests caught out burning sawlogs!
  2. EEG pursues VicForests through Freedom of Information.
  3. Rio+20 outcome.
  4. Online shop.
  5. Correction.

1) VicForests caught out burning sawlogs!

Burnt coupe near Wallagaraugh image VicForests was caught out recently by a group of angry residents, burning good sawlogs and residual logs in a clearfelled forest near Genoa in the far east. Click here to view the 2 minute news clip that appeared on Win TV news last week and click here to read the Weekly Times report.

Not only does it appear that they had cut down this forest and then couldn’t sell the logs to the chipmill or sawmills, they also refused to sell it to the local licensed firewood cutters. The Beckers offered them much more per tonne than VicForests sell it for as woodchip logs. Locals said there were 500-600 tonnes and much of it was C grade sawlogs. It was torched all in one go. The Beckers said it would have kept them in business for three years. The land was excessively steep and with the rain that we had, loads of soil washed into the Wallagarah River.

VicForests’ response to the media was inadequately feeble and dishonest.

But this just tells us that there is a massive and sudden drop in the demand for woodchips and pulplogs now - which has driven the clearfell destruction for decades. This matches up with other evidence we are seeing and hearing about. This is very good news.

2) EEG pursues VicForests on FOI documents.

Earlier this year VicForests was hurriedly offering over 800,000 tonnes of Victoria’s public forests to anyone who wanted to buy them as a cheap package deal – with the helpful suggestion that they could be burnt in power stations. Yep - pretty bad stuff, but this also shows that their traditional woodchip market is set to disappear.

Cartoon - Freedom of Information can't have...coz! Anyway - East Gippsland’s surviving forests were to somehow have almost half of this volume hacked out from them. Where did VicForests pull these figures from? You guessed it! Our FOI request for all documents used to calculate these mountains of ‘waste’ logs on offer, was mostly refused under some of the many convenient ‘exemptions’ they have under the FOI Act. But that’s no barrier to us! We will be doggedly pursuing them.

VicForests also expects “full sovereign risk indemnity from the government” ! That means we tax payers - will compensate any successful bidder which doesn’t get the amount of ‘waste’ logs that VicForests promised it - which of course they can’t, because that volume is unlikely to be there (unless they knock over more protection zones, parks and reserves). That means VicForests invented a fulsome sounding figure and bunged it out there to make this offer more enticing. The tender document mentions:

  1. Approximately 837,000 tonnes per annum of mature and regrowth forest
  2. Long term agreements of up to 20 years (= 16 million tonnes!)
  3. Close to coal fired electricity generators so forests can be burnt
  4. "Stable and well developed political, regulatory, financial and legal systems in Victoria" (translates Baillieu supports developers, profiteers and all-purpose planet rapers. ed. note)

  5. EEG is determined to expose this farce. The story will continue.

    3) Rio - 20 years on

    climate change ship & iceberg We have all given up expecting anything to come out of these events now but a huge carbon footprint and plenty of government lies and grandstanding.

    The recent Rio+20 saw a 10-day mega-conference and 45,000 people (and associated aviation fuel to get them there), produce a booklet called The Future We Want. It’s been lambasted for having no detail or serious will to deal with our deteriorating environment, worsening inequality and a global population, expected to rise from 7bn to 9bn by 2050.

    US secretary of state Hillary Clinton played the optimist and wanted to have a more prosperous future where “all people benefit from sustainable development." We know what that means.

    Greenpeace called the summit “a failure of epic proportions” and said "We didn't get The Future We Want in Rio, because we do not have the leaders we need. The leaders of the most powerful countries supported business as usual, shamefully putting private profit before people and the planet." That summed it up.

    Rio+20 was intended as a follow up on the 1992 Earth Summit, which put in place landmark conventions on climate change, biodiversity, poverty and social justice. Since then, global emissions have risen by 48%, 300m hectares of forest have been cleared and the population has increased by 1.6bn people.

    4) We have an online shop!

    Enviro-friendly products for enviro-friendly people!
    Image - a great selection of shopping bags Our great range includes terrific calico and coloured cotton shopping bags, a range of gift cards, and iron-on transfers. All products have original designs that carry a distinctive enviro message. Coming soon we will also have Australian made organic cotton T-shirts, recycled paper notepads with a forest message, embroidered cloth badges and a new range of gift cards.

    Go to: and have a browse.

    5) Correction.

    Quoll photo by Peter Lawrence Last Update we covered the story of an endangered Quoll that was found dead on the road near a DSE prescribed burn at Providence Ponds. The heading incorrectly read: Burnt quoll found after prescribed burn. It in fact hadn’t been burnt, but appeared to have been run over. The error was due to the editor not correcting the heading to match the article.

    6) Articles in the June 2012 Potoroo #201.

    • New rainforest court case
    • Government’s owl extinction plan
    • CSIRO and Ombudsman make excuses on logging funds
    • CSIRO asked to join EEG for $10,000
    • Apiarists angry over bee site losses
    • DSE has VicForests in court
    • Leadbeater’s Possum in court
    • Wildlife Acts impotent
    • Baillieu’s new forest annihilation plan
    • Logging laws weakened
    • Inside the industry, it’s dark
    • The weakening woodchip monster
    • Are forest furnace plans a fizzer?
    • Aerial baiting plans stopped
    • What Baillieu has done
    • DSE should rescue ducks - court
    • Rare Potoroos –search and destroy
    • Gillard guts environment laws
    • Shorts (short news stories)
    • Population.

    We will be sending out another E Bulletin update in a week or two with more info and news. And please don’t forget that now is the time to make a tax deductible donation if you can, to help with EEG’s work. Click here for easy online donations using GiveNow.

               Jill and the team.

                Environment East Gippsland Inc.      FORESTS - our breathing space!

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