The View - January 2017
Environment group offer to discontinue legal proceedings
VicForests has welcomed an offer by an environment group to discontinue legal proceedings relating to harvesting on three sites in East Gippsland.
Harvesting operations had been suspended on the sites pending the outcome of the proceedings brought by the environment group.
Lachlan Spencer, VicForests’ General Manager, Planning and Stakeholders, said the proceedings were brought by the environment group regarding the protection of threatened species.
“The Supreme Court noted VicForests’ position in relation to the issues and made an order allowing the environment group to discontinue its legal claims,” Mr Spencer said.
“VicForests has not been required to change its practices as a result of the legal action.
“All of the threatened species detected on the three sites by VicForests and community groups are being protected appropriately by VicForests.
“VicForests will continue to follow all procedures regarding threatened species surveys and respond to any additional information provided as we always have done,” he said.
The matter of costs remain outstanding and a court date to determine this has been set for February 2017.
VicForests helps fund health monitoring machine for Daylesford Hospital
Daylesford Hospital received a grant as a part of VicForests’ 2016 Community Support Program that has enabled them to purchase a new vital signs monitor for its acute ward and Urgent Care Centre.
“On average we treat approximately 3,000 patients per year at Daylesford Hospital,” says Catina Eyres, Acting Director of Nursing.
“Vital signs monitoring is essential in determining the health status of a patient and to identify any signs of clinical deterioration," she said.
The Daylesford Hospital Auxiliary also contributed funds towards this purchase.
“Thanks to the generous donation from VicForests and the Daylesford Hospital Auxiliary," Ms Eyres said.
Click here to read the full media release (Source: Hepburn Health)
VicForests welcomes new Conservation and Biology Research Manager
Tim McBride, wildlife conservation expert, has recently joined VicForests as the new Biodiversity Conservation Research Manager.
Tim has been working in the forestry industry for more than 22 years with a strong focus in forest ecology and wildlife conservation.
He is looking forward to using his knowledge to further develop conservation plans that balance the protection of the environment and animals with sustainable forestry.
“I’m looking to create more flexible plans to meet the needs of both the native timber industry and the protection of species and their habitat,” Tim said
“VicForests are committed to ensuring sustainability. They aim for long-term environmental, economic and industry-wide sustainability and I want to be a part of that.
“In my role, I hope to further improve existing conservation plans and work with industry stakeholders to help change some perceptions other organisations have of VicForests,” he said.
Tim is looking forward to contributing towards the many research projects that VicForests is involved with and work closely with the educational institutions leading them.
“The results from the Leadbeater’s Possum surveys, Hollows Development project and Regrowth Retention Harvesting trials are very encouraging.
“I have already began meeting with fellow academics and experts in this field and hope to build long-term relationships and share knowledge and learnings with them during my time here.
“I am planning on being with VicForests for a long time,” he said.
Tim has joined VicForests after many years researching forest ecology and wildlife conservation across the west coast of America working predominantly with Port Blakely Tree Farms and Hancock Natural Resource Group during his career. He recently moved to Victoria with his Australian wife to develop his skills in a new environment.
“I spent a lot of time researching amphibians by looking into drivers of population trends and what their preferred habitat looks like,” he said.
“I hope to help VicForests better understand the habitat requirements of Victoria’s threatened species including possums, gliders and owls as well as other lesser knowns species such as frogs and toads.
“I also hope to gain a deeper understanding of Australian eco-systems and learn more about Victoria’s native species,” he said.
Tim will manage Research and Development across all regions VicForests operates in.
VicForests donates timber to local community group in Alexandra
VicForests has donated Ash and Acacia timber to the Eildon and District Woodworkers Guild/Alexandra Community Shed to support their local wood craft activities.
The Eildon and District Woodworkers Guild are a community group in Alexandra which are part of the Australian Men’s Shed Association that looks after men’s health in regional communities.
The Guild supports its members by providing materials and tools to produce wood working pieces, as well as the opportunity for them to socialise and feel part of their community.
Max May, Secretary of the Eildon and District Woodworkers Guild, said that they are very grateful to VicForests and their contractors for this generous donation.
“VicForests have donated both Ash and Acacia logs.
“The Ash timber will predominantly be used to make woodworking benches for a new Guild workshop and the Acacia logs will be used for appearance pieces such as bowls and platters to utilise the good colour.
“Our new workshop will hopefully be ready soon so it will be great to have some fine looking wood working benches for our members to create serving platters, furniture and other household products.
VicForests contractors, Eddy Haulage and Johnson Logging, assisted in the harvesting and delivery of the timber to the Guild.
Jim Anderson, VicForests Planning Officer, said that It’s great to see this timber being put to use in the local community.
“A number of the Guild members have worked in the timber industry and it is great for them to be able to keep a connection to the industry.
“They have a wealth of experience and knowledge and I'm sure they will put this timber to good use.
“I hope this relationship can continue but none of this would have been possible without the help of our contractors,” Mr Anderson said.
The Guild has outgrown its present site behind the Alexandra Timber Tramway and Museum and will soon be moving to a new location.
“We currently have 65 members and are now looking for a new and larger place. We would be grateful for any assistance towards this move, Mr May said.
Detours in place – Yarra State forest
Detours will be in place in the Yarra State forest during January to ensure public safety around timber harvesting operations.
There will be potential traffic delays of up to 30 minutes for traffic using Big Creek Road between Brahams Rd and Federal Rd near Powelltown.
Drivers are encouraged to follow detour signage and take alternative routes to avoid the likelihood of delays.
Traffic will still be able to use Big Creek Rd and Federal Rd but may face delays due to safety precautions in place around timber harvesting operations.
Visitors travelling to the Ada tree from Yarra Junction and Powelltown throughout January can take the Bennie Ck Rd turn-off from the Yarra Junction Rd and use Bennie Ck Rd and New Turkey Spur Rd to reach the Ada Tree walk car park.
Alternative access is also available from the Warburton-Woods Point Road via Muddy Creek Road and Big Creek Road (eastern end) to Federal Road.
The safety precautions will be in place to reduce any risk of harm to staff, contractors and members of the public.
For more information please use the Map Layers found at - http://mapshare2.dse.vic.gov.au/MapShare2EXT/imf.jsp?site=pam