Forests and Plantations
The Barmah-Millewa Collective (BMC) formed in late 2000 after FoE made a committment to the Yorta Yorta people to join them in a campaign to protect Barmah-Millewa Forest, stop the logging and grazing, and re-establish their rights to manage the forest. The campaign was first mooted in 1998 at the Dharnya Centre occupation in Barmah Forest. The Yorta Yorta had occupied the centre in protest against the Kennett and Howard governments’ racist “10 point plan” to water down native title legislation. Millewa Forest Blockade June 2009 Photo: Michaela Stubbs
Our campaign grew to cover the red gum forests along the length of the Murray and – with the combined efforts of many allies – achieved exciting victories in December 2008 and May 2010 as first Victoria and then NSW moved to create over 250,000ha of new red gum National Parks and Protected Areas, many of which will be co-managed or handed back to Traditional Owners.
FoE red gum banner - World Environment Day Rally for Victoria's Forests 2006 Photo: Josie Lee
This historical success is not the end of the story - the Barmah-Millewa Collective continues to work with Traditional Owners, in particular the Wadi Wadi people in their negotiations over co-management of their park, Nyah-Vinifera (on the Murray near Swan Hill). We are also partnering with them to conduct Cultural Biodiversity Surveys of culturally and environmentally significant plants, animals and sites on their country.
Plantation Forestry Issues
Strzelecki Koala: Friends of the Earth works closely with Friends of Gippsland Bush, pushing for the protection of this unique animal.
January 2016: The Strzelecki Koala Needs Your Help poster (poster outlining results of survey work that FoE and Friends of the Gippsland Bush have conducted 2014-5.
As of March 2012 this work is unfunded. Donations are always gratefully accepted and go a long way.
January 2015: Koalas Still Being Impacted by Bluegum Plantation Companies (Youtube footage below)
July 21 2014: Victorian Koala Issues, Plantations and Forest Stewardship Council Certification 2000-2014
August 7 2013: Forest Stewardship Council and Strzelecki Rainforest Management Case Study
May 1 2012: Victorian Koalas Left Out In The Cold
Since 1996 Friends of the Earth Melbourne, has been involved in monitoring plantation companies in Victoria. Much of this work has been conducted in the Strzelecki Ranges, 2 hours drive south east of Melbourne. The Strzelecki Ranges were effectively privatised by the Victorian State Government in 1998 and sold to Hancock Victorian Plantations. Friends of the Earth makes monthly visits to the area highlighting logging mismanagement.
Friends of the Earth also collated information on bluegum plantations which went through massive expansion in Australia between 1998-2009.
Previous work from Friends of the Earth Forest Network which was active in Melbourne for many years, including the popular Good Wood Guide can be located here.