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Environment East Gippsland Forest Update

In this bulletin:

  1. Peaceful action on Joe Helper’s office in the city – people wanted.
  2. VAFI want to log parks and burn forests.
  3. New Parks proclaimed for a third time.
  4. Brown Mountain celebration – 31st Oct – book now.
  5. Wanted – message texters.
  6. New EEG forest policy.
  7. Gunns announces out of Native Forests in WA.
  8. Environment debate at RMIT with pollies.
  9. EEG AGM 6th November.
  10. Unrelated to trees, but still about caring.

Hello EEG e-listers,

1) Visit Joe Helper’s office – with messages

Please come and visit the foyer of Minister for Agriculture and logging our forests, Joe Helper on Thursday 21st October at 12pm. People are needed to join in a peaceful 'foyer' action. There will be a massive “This is not South East Asia" type banner with huge picture of clearfell logging. Plus large images of intact/trashed forests (back and front) spinning to sounds of the forest, then chainsaws.

TWS is organising this and they need people there in support. Helper’s electoral seat is marginal, so this event will hurt his image in the lead up to the election.

Please put this in your diaries and be there if possible. Thanks.

Forest Rescue Action
12 noon - Thurs Oct 21st
Minister for VicForests Joe Helper's office
Old Shell Building Foyer
Corner Flinders and Spring Sts, Melbourne.

2) Logging industry wants to log National parks and incinerate state forests.

The peak representative body for the Victorian logging industry, the Victorian Association of Forest Industries (VAFI), has released a 10 point plan to keep destroying Victoria’s forests and future.
VAFI’s CEO (ex ALP employee) Philip Dalidakis, claims thousands of jobs and millions of dollars into the economy are thanks to the industry – but he neglects to say these are now almost entirely based in plantations.

Included in VAFI’s 10 point plan for business as usual are:
  1. The discredited Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs), renewed every five years;
  2. Burning forests (‘waste’ they claim) for electricity;
  3. The expanded use of environmental thinning for the management of all public forests, including in State and National Parks; (ie. smash down understory habitat, leave flammable dead vegetation and open forests up to drying out, so they can take the best trees in parks and reserves)
  4. Even more new plantations (there are more than enough already)

3) Govt fanfare over protecting logged forest

On the 1st October, we saw Minister Jennings in East Gippsland with embedded Sunday Age journo thrice recycle the announcement on new forest reserves for the region. It also shamelessly recycled areas of logged forest and areas that were already under protection. The small stands of old growth forest that did manage to make it to the safe side of the dotted line were mostly logging industry discards.
Goolengook and Dingo Creek were once superb areas, but sadly had their hearts logged out - with full government sanction. They were generously ‘gifted’ into a National Park – while Brown Mountain remained on the logging schedule.
The government is to be praised - on its clever recycling of protected zones back into protected zones, and logged forest into National Park. The state Labor Government is still obliged to honour its original 2006 promise – “to protect the last significant stands of old growth forest threatened with logging”. Old growth and mature forests are being destroyed every day in East Gippsland. Please keep the pressure up in whatever way you can.

4) Brown Mountain celebration nears

Help us celebrate Brown Mountains amazing win on Cup Weekend. Time is running out to register your intent to come along.
$25 for a day of feasting on great tucker and a toast to the trees. The waratahs will be in flower then too. Beautiful.
BYO camping gear. To register please email Lizzi on
To book online click here

5) Text messages – please

Country and metro people wanted. Can those who are good at texting and want to help, please contact Jill ( with your details? Often the radio has stories on the environment and forests and they call for people to send in comments. If you’re too shy to call talkback numbers, how about sending a clever little text message instead? I can give you call and let you know what’s going on (fast responses are needed). Radio is a great way to spread the message – it’s free advertising from real people and the government’s media monitors are paying close attention these days.

6) Drafting a new forest policy for EEG

We have been working on a new forest policy in light of the current situation. Our existing forest policy was put together in the mid 90s. Members are welcome to comment on the below draft.
  1. End all industrial scale native forest logging in East Gippsland by end of 2012.
  2. East Gippsland mills wishing to continue operating to be guaranteed plantation log supply to meet existing licence agreements after 2012.
  3. Government funded exit packages to be provided for sawmills and logging industry workers who agree to permanently exit.
  4. Assist workers who choose to relocate to take up employment opportunities in the vast plantations of Western Victoria.
  5. While native forest logging is being phased out, DSE must conduct flora and fauna studies for threatened species prior to allocating forests for logging (as prescribed in EEG vs VicForests court ruling).
  6. Victorian woodchip needs of South East Fibre Export to be sourced only from plantations with no subsidies for logs or transportation.
  7. Native forests wood must not be used for power generation, biofuels or charcoal.
  8. East Gippsland to be promoted as a key region in Victoria for visitors to experience old growth, rainforest and native forest wildlife. Government to provide assistance to encourage and establish a new local focus and employment based on forest tourism, such as Old Growth forest walks.
  9. Prescribed burns must be planned using evidence-based, scientifically rigorous evaluation to ensure they do not make forest more flammable, such as in damp forest types. Where endangered species might exist, rigorous surveys must first be carrying out to ensure burns would not impact on their survival.
  10. Natural Land Managers and Park Rangers to be increased to 50 across East Gippsland with appropriate funding.

7) Gunns pulls out of WA forests

On the ABC NEWS last week Gunns announced it will shut down its native forest mills if it can’t find a buyer by the end of November. It’s hardly a business to be investing in at this time, so it doesn’t look hopeful! The logging lobby group in the west is demanding the WA government reduce its prices for logs even further.

8) Victorian Election 2010 - The Environment Debate –
Thursday 4 November 2010, 5.30pm-7pm

Please get along to this free event if you’d like to ask any curly questions of the Environment Minister or the opposition, who will explain their env. policies and take questions from the floor. A good question would be to ask if the ALP or Libs would alter laws, regulations or forest plans that would effectively enable them to avoid having to meet the ruling of the Supreme Court. They must look for and protect threatened wildlife in public forests before they log (but if they change the law regarding protection they could get out of it). We know this being talked about within government.
  • Gavin Jennings, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Innovation, ALP
  • Greg Barber, Environment, Finance & Indigenous Affairs Portfolio, Greens
  • Mary Wooldridge, Shadow Minister for Environment & Climate Change, Liberal Party
This will be held at Melbourne Uni. The Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand (EIANZ) in conjunction with the Office of Environmental Programs will present the forum. Chaired by Dr Peter Christoff of Melbourne University, Vice-President of the ACF.

9) AGM 6th November
Contact Jill ( for more details.

10) Foster or permanent home needed for a loving young g. shep needing a kind home. Fairly urgent. Contact Jill - 5154 0145 or

Jill Redwood
Environment East Gippsland Inc

FORESTS - our breathing space!