Disaster at Goolengook

Subject: Disaster at Goolengook
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2002 22:55:31 +1100 (EST)
I don't know whether this is the appropriate forum to hop on my high horse, but 
due to a complete frustration at recent forest management issues in Victoria, I 
have to start somewhere.  

It all looked so promising a few weeks back.  The Victoria government announced 
cutbacks to logging.  Then the fine print was read.
No cut back in the amount of forest to be cut.
Further increase in woodchip levels.
Large sections of the report on sustainable levels have apparently been 
supposedly on the need to also cut woodchip levels.

Now logging has started at Goolengook.

Well, you probably know the story on how it is a national treasure, bird rich 
site, contains heaps of endangered species and list goes on, as to why it 
be saved.  So I thought I would provide some other information.  Without 
it, I sent picture of a Slender Tree Fern (Nationally threatened) the other day 
to a leading botonist.  His reply, was whether or not I was aware of the 
Tree Fern next to it.  A species even rarer then the Slender Tree Fern.

83% of the wood to be cut, has been declared as residual wood to go to the 
woodchipper.  So much for government claims that the area is required to meet 
sawlog quotas.  No wonder there are so many rumours flying about Daishowa (The 
owners of the chipper at Eden) making so many donations.

Exclusion zones have been set up around the area including a large proportion 
the Errinundra National Park.  So much for our crown land being managed for 
everybody.  It seems State Forests are only for the logger, especially if 
comments from the Forestry Union are anything to go buy, on how they are going 
blockade the Great Ocean Road if greenies keep turning up in forests.  That 
be a great idea, block the main way that towns in the Otways make a living all 
for the sake of two mills operated employing very few people.  Or is it more to 
do with Midways (Chip company at Geelong) where most of the action against 
woodchipping has occurred.

People need to be aware that a huge amount of sawlogs are pulped because of 
government subsidies.  If it wasn't for woodchipping there would be no need to 
cut sawlog production or import timber from overseas.  There would also be a 
greater level of rural employment as timber mills would have good quality wood 
use and make a saleable product.  But no, at the moment as many of you would 
good quality sawlogs are taken straight to the chipper.  Most of the woodchip 
mills are in major cites and going by the amount of log trucks you see parked 
Melbourne suburbs, most of the drivers also live in major cities.

Recently a forest industry spokesgroup suppressed a report that each timber 
industry worker in Victoria is subsidised to $70000.   This doesn't count for 
80 million hand out spoke about recently to help timber towns adjust to having 
less sawlogs.  Orbost people most be really serious about change, logging one 
the major tourist attractions in the area in recent years, 2000 visitors a 
have gone to Goolengook.  I guess this would increase to 10000 a year if people 
weren't scared of run ins with ferals and there weren't so many acts of 
against anybody that has the slighest interest in conservation.  Still 
continueing today, predominantly by so called public servants, who seem to have 
the idea that they only represent multi-national woodchipping companies.

Some quick honest facts about claims being made about the blockade.  

Syringes found belonged to a diabetic.
Daggers believed to have been planted in the bust of the blockade.
A delivery of razor wire was made to the blockade 2 days before the bust.  
Probably a set up.
One bridge damaged in original burnoff of logging operation 4 years ago by 
drip torch.  Only last year did the ferals begin dismantling it to build a 
The bridge was not required for fire suppression as road only travelled another 
200 metres to a log landing.  Bridge was found to be illegal, as built through 
heritage listed river.
During Christmas on my last trip there, I did find another bridge that had been 
damaged.  This has not been in media reports as yet.  It was probably done by 
ferals, but was probably unsafe for heavy traffic due to rotting and flood 
damage.  It is also 50 metres away from a Spot tailed Quoll site.  This track 
very overgrown and this bridge may make into the media as it was originally 
proposed to be the access road for logging along the boundary of Errinundra 
National Park.
At least 4 dope plants where known to be growing next to a bath tub.  No sign 
any other drugs can be confirmed other then from lies and a PR campign on 
talkback radio trying to cloud the issue.  After an attach on 3 blockaders by 
loggers was the fort built, not to completely stop access into the area.  
A policy did exist on site that there was nothing to be kept that could be used 
in a confrontation.  At all costs it was to remain peaceful and not to respond 
other violence.

Currently reports are that there are 80 police and 113 forest officers 
the area.  Yes we are paying for this area to be chipped.  In return for use of 
crown land royalties equal to the price of a loaf of bread will be paid for 
truck load of timer to leave the area.
Further info on the above and about current action can be found at http://

Shit, I better stop now, eventough this email has turned out to be a very quick 
summary.  I have put a petition below in regards to Goolengook that it would be 
great if you could send on and if you dont send it on, please forward it to Mr 
Bracks.  In the mean time, now is a great time to stand up for the environment 
whether it be Marine, Box - Ironbark, Goolengook, Woodchipping or endangered 
species funding.  Some industries are on the back foot as like others they 
realise they they may soon have to stop abusing OUR environment and use it in a 
sustainable way and not based on political decisions.  Make you feelings known 
the media.

We, the undersigned recognize the biological significance of the old growth
 forests in the Goolengook River catchment in East Gippsland, we have
 reverence for their intrinsic value and we demand their immediate protection
 from imminent logging.

 1. Howard Nichols, Beaumaris, Victoria
 2. Fiona York, Goongerah, Victoria
 3. Alexander Bowles, Goongerah Victoria
 4. Max Dixon, Goongerah, Victoria
 5. Morgan Boehringer, Goongerah, Victoria
 6. Siobhan Daynes Goongerah, Victoria
 7. Andrew Newnham, Goongerah, Victoria
 8. Madeline Hudson, Goongerah, Victoria
 9. Richard Evans, Goongerah, Victoria
 10. Gavin Tapp, Goongerah, Victoria
 11. Timothy Gray-Price, Fitzroy, Victoria
 12. Liz Ingham, Yarraville, Victoria
 13. Howard Nichols, Beaumaris, Victoria
 14.  Paul Jones,  Kalorama,  Victoria

 Please copy and paste the following petition into a word document, add your
 name and redistribute to as many people as possible. There's no time to
 stuff around, so get going NOW ! If you sign at number fifty send it to
 Bracks at the address below or do not have anyone else to send it too. Thank 

 To: Premier Steve Bracks 

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