Victorian Environmental Assessment Council’s Central West Investigation Draft Proposals Paper
31st August 2018
VicForests welcomes the release of the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council’s (VEAC) Central West Investigation Draft Proposals Paper.
The VEAC report provides an important opportunity for public debate around the conservation, use and sustainability of public forests and reserves in central west Victoria.
Through its Community Forestry program, VicForests undertakes operations in many areas reviewed by the VEAC investigation including Mount Cole, Mount Lonarch, The Wombat and Wellsford State forests and the Pyrenees ranges.
A media story has been prominent in the last two days alleging VicForests admitted a research project it is undertaking in East Gippsland may cause the death of Greater Gliders.
These claims are misleading. It’s important to clearly state some facts:
The words in the email referred to in the story were written a year ago and had nothing to do with the current research project.
VicForests apologises to the many interested parties who found the story distressing.
VicForests will continue to operate in a safe, efficient and sustainable manner, balancing needs of the environment, our staff and rural communities whose livelihood depends on a successful forestry industry.
This information may assist in providing some facts around the current story. read more
NAIDOC week statement
VicForests would like to take the opportunity during NAIDOC week to reflect, acknowledge and respect the long-held forest based cultural and spiritual connections that Aboriginal people have. These connections are significant, current and respected. Aboriginal people developed and implemented land management techniques and fire regimes over millennia which shaped the forests that Australians know, love and value.
Aboriginal people are a part of the forest and timber industries and we encourage this going forward.
With respect to this year’s NAIDOC week, ‘Because of Her, We Can!’ we would particularly like to acknowledge Aboriginal women and their connections to forests and community. As well we’ve recently met with female Traditional Owners from the East Gippsland region and we would like to take this opportunity to once again thank them for their generosity during these meetings.
Finally, we wish Aboriginal communities an enjoyable NAIDOC week.
VicForests today released to the Mirboo North community a social impact scoping summary report that assessed concerns and support around plans to harvest coupes near the town.
VicForests’ General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Alex Messina, said he has released the report to give stakeholders, including the Preserve our Forests Steering Committee, the community and Local Government a summary of feedback provided to VicForests during interviews in August 2017.
VicForests today released to the Noojee community a social impact scoping summary report conducted last August that assessed concerns around plans to harvest coupes near the town.
VicForests’ General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Alex Messina, said he has released the report because it will give stakeholders including local residents and the Baw Baw Shire Council a summary of the feedback provided to VicForests during the interviews in August 2017.
Media Statement following hearing in Federal Court
10 May 2018
The Federal Court today continued an injunction brought against VicForests by the Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum (FLBP), preventing VicForests from harvesting timber in five coupes in the Central Highlands and West Gippsland.
The application for an injunction was submitted by FLBP, as part of the Amended Statement of Claim; a follow-on of the original case brought against VicForests in March regarding the Federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act exemption.
A Spot-tailed quoll was recently sighted in the Erica State Forest.
Spot-tailed quolls are rare; they are listed as Threatened under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and Vulnerable under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC)
VicForests today released pre-harvest maps of a Noojee timber coupe indicating that total protected and buffered areas comprise 13 hectares, or nearly one quarter (24%), of the gross coupe area.
This area includes about 7ha of additional voluntary visual buffers in response to community preferences to screen the “Backdoor” coupe from the centre of the township.
The Noojee coupe plan is available on request.
Federal Court grants interim injunction
24 April 2018
VicForests will defend an application for an injunction brought by the Friends of Leadbeaters Possum Inc (FLBP).
The court today granted an interim injunction regarding six coupes until 2 May, 2018, when the Court will hear arguments about whether a final injunction will be imposed.
VicForests announced today that it would retain habitat areas around about 20 habitat trees identified through field assessments and three night surveys of the Noojee Backdoor coupe, scheduled for harvesting towards the end of April.
Alex Messina, VicForests General Manager Corporate Affairs said “This is part of a routine and thorough pre-harvest process designed to double check and update desktop data before any harvest.
After listening to the Noojee community VicForests has confirmed it will implement a 100 metre wide buffer on a timber harvesting coupe nearby to ensure the area will not be visible from the centre of town.
This buffer, which is an extension to the existing environmental buffers, was confirmed at an Open Day VicForests hosted in Noojee on Sunday 18 March.
The Neerim South Wetlands played host to the 2017 Neerim Frog Festival, celebrating a decade-long rehabilitation of the wetlands by Neerim District Landcare group.
Following a ‘pilot’ festival last year supported by VicForests, this year’s Neerim Frog Festival attracted more support, activities and attendees, who came out to see, and appreciate, Landcare’s work on the wetlands.
Consultation period runs from 4 December 2017 to 12 January 2018
VicForests is seeking input from local community members on the proposed updates to its Timber Release Plan, relating to timber harvesting operations in North East Victoria, West Gippsland and East Gippsland regions.
Listening to the community ensures that we are aware of what is important to them, so that we can incorporate these things into our plans. (More.)
A $2,000 investment in Warragul-based charity, Baw Baw Combined Churches Food Relief, will go towards helping more than 700 families within the Baw Baw Shire access emergency food supplies.
The grant was provided by VicForests, as part of its Community Support Program, and will go towards the operational costs of the volunteer-run organisation, which relies on donations and contributions to continue providing its vital services to those in need. (More.)
Cann River Community Centre this year awarded two prizes worth $250 each as part of its 2017 Arts, Crafts and Photography Expo thanks to VicForests’ Community Support Program contributions.
The Expo, running from 3 to 7 November, had 189 entries from 61 artists, which showcased the artistic skills of the local community with a wide range of art forms represented, including quilting, painting, photography, drawing, soft textiles, woodwork and mixed media. (More)
VicForests has commenced a stakeholder consultation phase to encourage relevent stakeholders to comment on our expertise in, and execution of, forestry management practices as journey towards our goal of seeking Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Controlled Wood (CW) certification for our operations in the regions of Central Highlands and East Gippsland. (More).
Click hereto read more about our plans to seek FSC
VicForests has achieved a positive profit from operations before tax of $1.5 million in 2016/17, highlighting the continued demand for native timber in Victoria. This is a good result considering the operational challenges we have faced. The company’s result after tax was a loss of $3.2 million, due to a decrease in the accounting valuation of the area of State forest available to be harvested for timber. (More)