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Environment East Gippsland Forest Update July 2013
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In this bulletin:
  1. Court date set
  2. Rudd talks with Business Council on environment laws
  3. Stable Population Party
  4. Logging and CO2
  5. 170,000 ha of Tassie forests as World Heritage
  6. Napthine gives private developers our National Parks
  7. Napthine passes the free-reign logging law BUT
  8. VicForests as the Black Knight
  9. Boral woodchips bite the dust
  10. VicForests operates despite being insolvent
  11. Facebook’s dirty tricks
  12. East Gippy giant in the Guardian
  13. ‘green label’ AFS envelopes a con
  14. Boycott Arnotts

Forest supporters who are members ($15 or $20 membership) will have received their Potoroo Review newsletter by now.
Click here to join EEG or to renew your membership.
The below are some forest related items which have arisen since the newsletter was printed.

1) Court date set for wildlife case

October Wednesday 30th is the date that has been allocated for the Supreme Court to hear the EEG vs DEPI Secretary. This will be on behalf of the threatened Glossy Black Cockatoo and friends, at the Supreme Court, starting at 10:30am. It’s down for one day.

Thanks to everyone who has generously donated and helped us gets the government into court. If you would like to donate click here

If we win this case it could force the government to write and implement protection plans for many more rare and threatened species.

2) Rudd talks with Business Council on environment laws

The Feds are considering handing Australia's natural jewels to the State crooks. They are negotiating with big industry right now. We need to let them know that we will stand up for the current laws that protect places we love.

Please let the new Environment Minister Mark Butler, know how important this issue is for you.
A simple online letter is at the below link – just add your name. Thanks.

3) Stable Population Party

At last, a Party that will highlight one of the most obvious problems that needs to be tackled – but is considered taboo in political spheres. The Stable Population Party has good environmental policies too.

4) Logging and Climate

While governments anxiously agonize, investigate and calculate how to reduce Australia’s emissions by 5% on 2000 levels, if they could bring themselves to protect native forests and end logging and clearing, it would effectively reduce emissions by between 10-18% immediately, safely, cheaply and without years of scientific research. This is equivalent to the amount of CO2 that Australia’s entire transport industry generates in a year.

5) 170,000 ha of Tassie forests as World Heritage

UNESCO approved the World Heritage Listing of an additional 170,000 hectares of Tasmania's forests in June. This means the highest level of environmental protection should protect the Southern Forests, the Styx, the Florentine and the Great Western Tiers. However the Liberals stated they will allow selective logging inside these areas if they win government.

6) Napthine gives private developers our National Parks

Late June the Victorian Government agreed to give private developers 99-year leases in our national parks - this effectively hands public land to privileged individuals for private profit. Two thirds of Victoria's national parks and other conservation reserves are now up for grabs. These areas are to protect our already depleted natural areas, not used as development precincts.

History shows that what starts as a small 'eco-sized' accommodation will morph into more beds, a café, bigger car parks, a shop or two, not to mention a sewerage plant and roads.

Have a look at VNPA's website if you're outraged.

7) Napthine passes the free-reign logging law

As well as thinking they could get away with turning our Parks into a developers free-for-all, Premier Napthine also passed a free-for-all amendment to the logging Act that gives the logging mafia everything it wants for as long as it wants, with bugger-all scrutiny. If they run out of forests (or another bushfire gets them) the promise is underwritten by us taxpayers for hundreds of millions.

The reason this amendment was introduced was because the government is desperate to encourage more buyers, as the demand for native forests products is in steady decline.

The largest buyer of native forest wood in Victoria is the Nippon-owned Australian Paper (AP) mill at Latrobe Valley. Nippon’s Eden export woodchip mill seems to have reduced its take of East Gippsland woodchips lately. AP, makers of Reflex copy paper, has stated they intend to get out of native forests by 2017. Once the major buyers move to plantation wood, the government can make as many forest wrecking laws as they want, but without customers any law changes will be pointless.

You can write a letter to Australian Paper CEO Jim Henneberry to let him know you’d like to see Australian Paper out of native forests far earlier than that. Send your snail mail to Jim Henneberry, CEO, Australian Paper, Private Bag 87 Mt Waverley 3149.
For more info visit

8) VicForests as the Black Knight

Is VicForests now Monty Pythons Black Knight?

Despite extending timelines, VicForests has NOT found a market for the 800,000m3 of so-called ‘waste’ native forest wood they’ve had on tender for over a year. They also admitted (in a round-about way) that woodchips are not selling and business is now a wee bit difficult. No one seems to want the booty from clearfelling mixed species forests, not even electricity furnaces. There is a lot to read between the lines of the news story in the illustrious Snowy River Mail (26/6/13)

The avalanche of influences, like market realities (no customers), VicForests’ ongoing debts, competing plantation wood, high Aussie dollar and pesky legal challenges to their law breaking, might finally see them teeter. Is the government, VicForests and the industry finally realizing it has no future? Not even with millions more subsidies gifted to it from our pockets?

It’s high time this monster was beheaded!

9) Boral woodchips bite the dust

Good news! – Boral, the logging and woodchipping baddy of Northern NSW has stopped woodchipping, is selling up its woodchipping business and will exit sections of its sawn timber business. Why?

The reason it gave was because of “…the strength of the Australian dollar and associated high volume of imports, combined with low levels of demand and high manufacturing costs, are all creating very challenging conditions...”. What they didn’t say was that they look like failing in their application to obtain FSC eco-certification. This would have given them an advantage for some markets and customers.

This should send a message to our very own Nippon which logs and woodchips Victorian and SE NSW forests. If Boral can’t get FSC, then Nippon hasn’t a snowballs hope in hell. Forestry Tasmania might as well give up now too!

10) VicForests operates despite being insolvent

VicForests has racked up a loss of at least $22 million since it was formed - that means it costs us $1.50 for every cubic metre of wood it has logged.

VicForests righteously claims a net profit of $11.6 million over eight years. But it has also received gifts of $24.75 million - a net cost to the taxpayer of over $13 million.

11) Facebook’s dirty tricks

if you've "liked" a page, you don't always see its updates on your newsfeed. Facebook is trying to make those of us with pages pay to make sure all of the fans--fans we already have--see our updates.

Facebook is only sharing our posts with fans who repeatedly return to our page, post on our page, comment on our page, or otherwise engage on our page. In other words, the minority!

This is true not only of our page but any page you "like". Here's how to make sure you see not just our page but the others you want to see.

1. Go to a page you want to receive posts from, hopefully Environment East Gippsland
2. Hover your mouse over the “Liked” button to get the drop down menu to appear (which doesn’t always work). If the drop down doesn’t show up, try clicking “Liked.” If that doesn’t work, take your mouse off “Liked,” then try again. (Yep. It’s really that ridiculous.)
3. Click "Add to Interests List"
4. Click "New List..."
5. Select pages to feature in your list, then click "Next"
6. Name your list, and determine who sees it. HINT: If you’re someone who likes sharing the love, select “public,” helping all of us little guys to gain more visibility.
7. Click “Done”
9. Now, go to your newsfeed page. Scroll to the bottom left.
10. There it is. Your new list. (The catch, of course, is that you’ll now need to intentionally go to that list to see posts.)

12) East Gippy giant in the UK Guardian

This made it into the Guardian in late June. The pic of our fallen giant just up the road here was shared by 102 people; more than most of the others. It's a stunningly shocking photo and says more than 2000 words could.
Thanks Eco-shout.
(over 5000 views)

13) 'green label’ AFS envelopes a con

Don't be conned! These envelopes should be avoided as they just give free promotion of the farce of AFS. It's the loggers-own 'green tick'.

14) Boycott Arnotts

Boycott Arnotts! Yes even TimTams have blood in them.

Arnotts use unsustainable palm oil in their products, and import 19,000 metric tonnes of palm oil every year. Rainforests are being destroyed at a rate equal to 300 soccer fields every hour so that oil palms can be grown.

Our sister forests and her wildlife are being obliterated from the planet for the sake of our cheap processed foods, soaps, oils and other products. Boycotting a bigger, more well-known corporate first off is all part of a longer strategy to encourage companies to find more enviro-friendly alternative oils.

If you like what we do, or if you feel outraged and want to help somehow, EEG provides the most enviro-bang for your buck – and we work 7 days a week – no holiday pay, no rental, power bills, wages or overheads. Donate here

           Jill and the team.

            Environment East Gippsland Inc.      FORESTS - our breathing space!

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