NEWS 12 June 2024 |

Last week the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) confirmed tree-felling works on a main ‘fire break’ are on pause until the end of July.

Our collective actions and pressure helped prevent the destruction of more ancient grandmother trees.

A stretch of towering Mountain Grey-Gums, Stringybarks and peppermints will remain standing, for now. At least 25 large and old trees along the 1.5km break are temporarily safe. Three of these have endangered Greater Gliders living in them, as documented by Wildlife Of The Central Highlands.

Amidst all this destruction, the community should be proud of this important slice of progress, knowing that many Yarra Ranges grandmother trees and the Greater Gliders living in them are safe for now.

But loophole logging continues in other parts of our beautiful landscapes. These kind of ‘works’ won’t stop until we achieve our push for structural change.

We continue to escalate the issues with federal and state environment ministers, as well as senior levels of DEECA and Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMV). But FFMV are in a state of denial. We’re yet to hear back about why they cleared trees they knew contained Greater Gliders, and how they intend on improving in the future.

The burden should not fall on community to make sure government departments operate in line with nature laws. It’s why we’re calling for better and smarter oversight.

Together we’ve helped slow down the controversial logging operations in parts of the Yarra Ranges National Park. Now we need to make sure our precious endangered animals and plants are safe across the state.

UPDATE: Local legal challenge

Local group Warburton Environment has put forward a legal challenge against the Victorian Government. That ongoing tree removals are inconsistent with federal nature laws, and likely to cause significant impacts to threatened wildlife such as Leadbeater’s Possums and Greater Gliders.

The Victorian Government suspended tree removals along 1.5km of tree removal works, including critical habitat trees. At least 13.5km of firebreak will be protected from logging until the end of July when the judge will hear an application for a legal injunction.