As conservationists from the Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) entered their tenth consecutive day of successfully preventing logging of old growth forest at Granite Mountain in remote East Gippsland, twenty government officials have today arrived on site to break the blockade.
Around fifteen people are at the blockade, established on Monday 22 January. One person is suspended from a tripod structure blocking the logging road.
In December last year GECO documented dozens of large old trees in the old growth forest and submitted a report to the environment department and Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio urging them to intervene to prevent logging of the untouched forest.
The protest comes just 10 weeks after lawyers acting for the Fauna and Flora Research Collective won a Supreme Court injunction that halted logging of old growth in East Gippsland’s Kuark forest. Later this year lawyers will argue in Court that the Victorian Labor government are failing to meet their legal obligations that require 60% of old growth wet and damp forest to be protected, a step that has not been taken.
“This untouched forest has never been logged, it contains many large old trees that are hundreds of years old. It’s appalling that in 2018 the state Labor government are still logging untouched forests, mostly to be exported as woodchips,” said GECO spokesperson Ed Hill.
A logging track pushed into old growth forest at Granite Mountain
“Despite the current legal proceedings against them, the Andrew’s Labor government continue to log these forests that could be required for protection if they are to fulfil their old growth protection obligations,” said GECO spokesperson Ed Hill.
“The overwhelming majority of Victorian’s want to see Victoria’s forests protected in new national parks and reserves. The Andrew’s Labor government must act in the interests of all Victorian’s and immediately protect our native forests. These forests make East Gippsland so special. What we have here is incredibly unique, old growth forests have been eliminated from so much of Victoria, to destroy what remains o these ancient forests, in their last stronghold of the far east, is recklessly short sighted policy from the Labor government,” said Ed Hill.
Logged old growth forest inside the Granite Mountain coupe that is now being blockaded
Please call the Premier and Environment Minister now and let them know you support the peaceful blockade of Granite Mountain's old growth forest, that logging of one of the last remnants of old growth forest at Granite Mountain must not be destroyed by logging, and that you want Labor to protect East Gippsland's forests.
Premier Andrews - (03) 9651 5000
Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio - (03) 9637 9504
And please, email your local MP to make sure that all our politicians across Victoria know that they must protect our priceless forests before the next election.
Government officials arriving to break up the blockade