At It Again: Department Caught Illegally Logging Barmah State Forest

August 11, 2006

12 months after the Department of Sustainability & Environment (DSE) were embarrassed for illegally logging protected Superb Parrot habitat, Friends of the Earth have uncovered another case in which a logging contractor was illegally instructed to log 4 hectares outside of an approved coupe boundary.

“We can no longer sit back and trust that our government is looking after the last River Red Gums standing – DSE has proved time and time again they are not up to the job,” said Friends of the Earth spokesperson Jonathan La Nauze.

“It is time the Bracks government stepped in to halt this appalling mismanagement of our precious River Red Gums before it is too late for icons like Barmah – logging cannot possibly be sustainable under these conditions.”

Friends of the Earth began auditing logging in the Barmah Forest after last year’s illegal logging of Superb Parrot habitat.

“With less than 2% of Barmah logging operations audited, already we are waiting on DSE to respond to eight potential breaches we have previously reported.”

“In the case at hand they have confirmed a stuff-up, but it looks like nothing would have been done had we not raised the alarm. We are still waiting to see what they make of the other breaches we have reported.”

The eight other breaches include the potentially illegal logging of six Old Growth Red Gums, crucial habitat for hollow-dwelling species such as the threatened Squirrel Glider, Brush-tailed Phascogale and Superb Parrot.

These and many other species found in Barmah nest in hollows that take a red gum over 140 years to develop.