Media Release – 25th January 2018 Â –Â Goongerah Environment CentreÂ (GECO)
Old growth logging operations in far East Gippsland have been stopped again for the fourth day this week, as conservationists continue to blockade the access road to the VicForests logging coupe at Granite Mountain, near the Errinundra National Park.
A person is suspended in a hammock hanging from a tripod structure that is blocking the road and preventing access to the logging site. Logging in the old growth forest has been unable to proceed since the blockade was established on Monday morning.
â€œGiant trees have thrived here for centuries, trees that were growing well before the British colonised Australia are under threat, thanks to the efforts of the people on the blockade this ancient forest is safe for today. The Victorian government urgently need to formally protect East Gippslandâ€™s forests by extending existing parks and reserves,â€ said Goongerah Environment Centre spokesperson Ed Hill.
â€œEast Gippsland is the Victorian stronghold for old growth forest, itâ€™s the only place remaining on mainland Australia where forests are continuous from the alps to the coast. The region has been identified by the Victorian government has having the highest biodiversity value in the state, yet the government continue logging at a massive loss to the tax payer,â€ said Ed Hill.
VicForests internal documents reveal a $5.5 million dollar annual loss on logging in East Gippsland.
â€œThere are great economic opportunities in East Gippsland that do no involve trashing our environment. With adequate investment in nature based tourism, environmentally focussed land management programs and carbon sequestration our forests could bring great wealth to the region, instead these valuable natural assets are being destroyed at the expense of the environment and the tax payer,â€ said Ed Hill
â€œIf the native logging industry was sustainable theyâ€™d be logging plantations and re growth only. Too much old growth has been lost to logging already, the areas that remain intact are too precious to lose and deserve full protection.â€
â€œPeople will go to great lengths to protect our old growth forest heritage, risking arrest and putting their bodies on the frontline if thatâ€™s what it takes. The blockade will remain in place and conservationists will continue to protest until East Gippslandâ€™s forests are protected from logging.â€
â€œGECO pays respect to the long and continuing custodianship of these forests by the traditional owners of East Gippsland, the GunnaiKurnai, Bidewell and Monero people. We pay respect to their elders past, present and emerging and acknowledge that sovereignty was never cededâ€
 Arup. T., Logging in East Gippsland losing up to $5.5 million a year, The Age May 27th 2015, http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/logging-in-east-gippsland-losing-up-to-55-million-a-year-20150527-ghb0ao.html