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MEDIA RELEASE: End of native forest logging on January 1 paves the way for new National Parks

As Victoria prepares to end native forest logging within weeks, conservationists, citizen scientists and lawyers are calling on the Victorian Government to get on with creating new national parks in the Central Highlands and East Gippsland. 

The Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC) has just released a report on the need for immediate protection of critically important forests of the Central Highlands, home to forest-dependent Leadbeater’s Possums and Greater Gliders whose survival depends upon the secure protection of their habitat. 

VEAC has recommended ‘a large protected area such as a national park is commensurate with the outstanding natural values of forests in the Central Highlands around Marysville and Toolangi and around Erica, Noojee, Powelltown in Gippsland. 

The report says protecting more forests would link the existing Yarra Ranges, Kinglake, Lake Eildon and Baw Baw National Parks and the Bunyip, Cathedral Range and Moondarra State Parks. 

Recent national polling shows 91% of Australians agree national parks and conservation areas are critical to protect nature.

Lawyers and citizen scientists are calling on the Government to protect and respect Victoria’s native forests including the creation of new National Parks as well as assessing the most outstanding of them for World Heritage listing, with place-based Traditional Owner management at their core. 

More than three years ago, the Federal Court ruled that “Given the current Critically Endangered status of Leadbeater’s possum, and its predicted severe ongoing decline, including significant risks of extinction, all current and prospective suitable habitat is critical for its survival, and necessary for its recovery”, consistent with a draft of the species’ National Recovery Plan, yet none of its habitat has been formally protected since and no recovery plan made. 

While campaigners congratulate the Allan Government on ending most native forest logging In Victoria from 1 January 2024, there are still concerns that logging will continue in other parts of the state under another name. More than 65,000 hectares of public land is still on the chopping block post 1 January, with logging centred around Benalla, Mansfield, Bendigo, Central and East Gippsland, the Mid-Murray and Western Victoria. 

Attribute to Environmental Justice Australia Campaigns Manager, Luke Chamberlain 

"Native forest logging will end in Victoria and Western Australia within weeks, which could mean a fresh start for nature and traditional owner care of Country.
It's a momentous turning point, but the Victorian government still has work to do to restore and protect forests and close loopholes to make sure logging doesn’t continue under another name.

Let's get on with creating new national parks to save gliders, owls and other precious animals and plants from extinction, protect our drinking water, and safeguard our climate.

It's time to get on with supporting traditional owner management and regional communities to develop the industries of the future, instead of big businesses destroying habitat of endangered species. With the Australian Government rewriting our national environment laws, there's an opportunity to end the reckless destruction caused by Regional Forest Agreements over more than two decades."

Attribute to VFA Campaign Coordinator, Chris Schuringa

“We’re counting down the days till most native forest logging in Victoria will end. The state government must now put in place lasting protections for these globally-significant forests and wildlife. This will help tackle the climate and biodiversity crisis by preserving some of the most carbon-dense forests in the world.”

“There’s still plenty of work to be done to restore forests severely damaged by long-term logging, using the best available ecological science, and First Nations knowledge. There are so many opportunities with the end of logging in sight, and all forests must be urgently protected from ongoing threats, to ensure they’re still standing for generations to come.”


Attribute to VNPA Parks and Nature Campaigner, Jordan Crook

“Soon we’ll be living in a state that protects native wildlife habitat instead of smashing it up for pulp, paper, pallets and firewood. While this is a milestone to celebrate, we’re concerned that the work forest fire agencies are doing is often indistinguishable from intensive logging practices.

The government must not drag their feet in the creation of new national parks like we have seen in the Wombat Forest and legislate the parks as soon as possible. It’s now time to talk about restoring and recovering what we’ve lost and putting in place permanent protection, resources and oversight, for our forests, woodlands and landscapes.”


Media contact:

Jem Wilson, 03 8341 3110, [email protected]


BREAKING: State logging agency VicForests deregistered

Joint media release - Victorian Forest Alliance and Friends of the Earth Melbourne

State owned logging company VicForests has been deregistered as a government business according to a government gazette, as of September 5 2023. Conservation groups understand this signals the first step to winding up the state owned business, but it’s unclear what the next steps are to abolish the agency in light of the state government’s plans to end native forest logging by the end of 2023. 

“For years VicForests has been a total environmental and economic liability. It’s good news that the state government is taking the first step to wind up the rogue agency.” said Chris Schuringa, Campaign Coordinator for the Victorian Forest Alliance.

VicForests is responsible for two decades of mismanagement of forests, causing destruction of critical habitat for threatened wildlife, and important carbon stores. VicForests has received millions of dollars in subsidies and reported over $50 million in losses just in the last financial year.

“We now need assurance from the government that they will abolish VicForests, and scrap dodgy laws that lock in the pulping of forests, and remove the exemption from complying with federal environment laws. Forests won’t be safe while those laws are in place, even if VicForests is disbanded.” said Chris Schuringa.

“The Government needs to articulate a clear plan about what's coming next and how these unique forests will be managed into the future.” said Chris Schuringa.

In June, lawyers from Environment Justice Australia filed an ACCC complaint on behalf of the Victorian Forest Alliance for false claims of environmental sustainability on VicForests’ website. The complaint alleges VicForests failed to regenerate forests after logging, make spurious claims regarding climate credentials, and falsely assert that they conduct adequate surveys for threatened and endangered species prior to logging, and protect natural values.

In August, following reports VicForests’ used public funds to spy on conservationists speaking out against logging, a damning IBAC investigation concluded that "VicForests conducted unlawful surveillance on several members of the public". Court cases against the state company have shown VicForests have breached countless environment laws, and have failed to meet their legal obligations to survey for and protect endangered wildlife.

Despite the Victorian state government announcement in May to bring forward the end of native forest logging from 2030, to January 1 2024, logging in Western Victoria under ‘community forestry licences’ could continue beyond the proposed end date until June 2024.


Available for further comment: 


Chris Schuringa

Campaign Coordinator

Victorian Forest Alliance

[email protected]

0418 912 625

Cam Walker 

Campaign Coordinator 

Friends of the Earth

[email protected]

0419 338 047 


MEDIA RELEASE: Rare mountain plant find at odds with state agency logging plans

Joint media release: Victorian National Parks Association, Victorian Forest Alliance, Friends of Mount Stirling

Community nature groups are urging VicForests to ditch plans to log Mount Stirling’s sub-alpine forests following the discovery of rare endangered native plants.

Surveyors from the Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA) and the Victorian Forest Alliance (VFA) uncovered the endangered populations of the Lilac Bitter-cress, Fringed Rice-flower, Hairy Eyebright, Ovens Everlasting and Mountain Grevillea.

“Our findings show once again that VicForests has no clue what plants are present before logging,” VFA’s Chris Schuringa said.

“A landmark judgement handed down by the Supreme Court last year confirmed VicForests is breaking the law by not surveying properly yet here they are again thumbing their nose at the law.”

Charles Street from Friends of Mount Stirling said the forests’ diverse mix of Alpine Ash, Mountain Gum, and Snow Gum must be protected.Rare Fringed Rice-flower (Pimelea ligustrina ssp. Cliliata)

“These forests are already vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and bushfires – adding chainsaws and bulldozers into the mix would be all the more devastating,” Mr Street said.

“The mountainous forests of Mount Stirling are part of a complex ecosystem - damage one part and the others suffer. The habitat areas around Mount Stirling must be protected." 

The VNPA, VFA, and Friends of Mount Stirling have written to Environment Minister Ingrid Stitt, calling for her to scrap the logging plans.

Despite the state government’s plan to end native forest logging in the east by early 2024, many areas remain under threat. Lawyers from Environmental Justice Australia recently filed an ACCC complaint on behalf of the VFA, asking for an investigation into VicForests’ misleading sustainability claims. 

“VicForests can’t be trusted and should be entirely wound up by 1st January 2024 - the Andrews Government’s proposed end date to logging. These forests need lasting protections, not more destruction,” VNPA’s Matt Ruchel said.

“Native logging may well end in the east in a few months but it looks like it will continue in Western Victoria and other areas under different names, licences and damaging ‘fire management’ practices.

“It’s impossible to justify destroying these landscapes any longer – these forests are worth so much more standing.”


- END -


Contact Chris Schuringa at [email protected] for further comment


MEDIA RELEASE: VicForests boycott urged over greenwashing claims

The Victorian Government's logging agency, VicForests, is under fire for allegations of misleading marketing and state-sponsored greenwashing.  The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has been asked to investigate whether statements on the VicForests website may be false and misleading within the meaning of sections 18 and 29 of Australian Consumer Law.  The ACCC defines greenwashing as “falsely promoting environmental or green credentials to capitalise on these consumer preferences.” 

The ACCC has announced that greenwashing will be a top enforcement priority for the second year running as consumers become more environmentally conscious and likely to rely on environmental claims. Lawyers from Environmental Justice Australia have filed an ACCC complaint on behalf of the Victorian Forest Alliance (VFA), which represents 38 grassroots community groups.  

Read the full complaint here, and check out Michael Dahlstrom's coverage here

The VFA is concerned that the statements falsely suggest that the agency's logging of forests is ‘sustainable’. This is despite overwhelming evidence that their logging devastates forests, kills threatened wildlife, degrades biodiversity, and makes forests more vulnerable to frequent and intense bushfires.   

The ACCC has also been asked to investigate inaccurate claims about the impacts of logging on carbon stores in forests, as well as spurious claims that VicForests conducts adequate surveys for threatened and endangered species prior to logging.  In particular, the surveying claims on VicForests’ website appear to be inconsistent with the Federal Court and the recent Victorian Supreme Court findings against the logging agency.

Despite the end of native forest logging in Victoria, VicForests recently announced the addition of 184 new coupes in its Timber Release Plan to ‘allow for flexibility’. More than 65,000 hectares of public land is also still on the chopping block beyond 1 January 2024, with logging centred around Benalla, Mansfield, Bendigo, Central and East Gippsland, the Mid-Murray and Western Victoria. VicForests has been denied membership with the Forest Stewardship Council, which is the “most-trusted” international forest certification scheme.  

In November 2022, VicForests was found to have been logging in breach of environmental protections in a landmark court win by Environment East Gippsland and Kinglake Friends of the Forest.  image009.jpg

Chris Schuringa, Campaign Coordinator, Victorian Forest Alliance, said:  
“VicForests tell the marketplace that it's clean and 'green’, when it’s destroying the habitat of endangered wildlife.  A Victorian government agency is deliberately misleading Victorians about the true cost of its industrial logging operations. This is a clear example where consumers can no longer trust sustainability claims - they are, literally, not worth the paper they are printed on.“ 

Jill Redwood, Coordinator, Environment East Gippsland, said:  

“VicForests has had decades to clean up both its credibility and its logging methods. Instead, it has doubled down on its grubby and misleading tactics.  A logging agency claiming to be green is just classic spin doctoring.  VicForests has been subsidised with public money while peddling deception for decades. It's time for the government to be honest and accurate about what's really happening to Victoria's forests.“ 

Natalie Hogan, Lawyer, Environmental Justice Australia said: 

“Successive court rulings have found that VicForests practices have failed to protect endangered species and it's logging seriously threatens the State’s environment.  It's difficult to understand how any claims about sustainable logging are consistent with what the Courts have repeatedly found.  Companies, including major supermarkets, should think long and hard about the brands they want to be associated with because the public has had enough of greenwashing. This level of spin doctoring and corporate marketing is completely unpalatable and unconscionable.“



Jem Wilson, Environmental Justice Australia, 03 8341 3110, [email protected]

Chris Schuringa, Victorian Forest Alliance, 0418 912 625, [email protected]


Image credits: Chris Taylor


MEDIA RELEASE: Alarming discovery by citizen scientists sparks concerns illegal logging will continue

Citizen scientists from Wildlife of the Central Highlands (WOTCH) and the Victorian Forest Alliance (VFA) have discovered state-owned logging company VicForests has continued to illegally destroy numerous endangered Tree Geebungs while doing ‘regeneration’ works. The area is within the Immediate Protection Areas announced by the Daniel Andrews government back in 2019. One tree knocked over is estimated to be hundreds of years old. 

Destroyed ancient Tree Geebung in pile of logging slashThe groups have reported the illegal logging of the endangered plant, calling for VicForests to be charged for violating state environment laws. The Environment Department’s regulator has responded saying they don’t have the power to act on the breach because the protection areas haven’t been formalised, but are investigating. 

“State-owned VicForests have once again been caught red-handed. The agency repeatedly flouts the law, while the regulator does nothing to stop them. Despite the government’s plan to bring an earlier end to native forest logging, we hold grave concerns for forests and endangered species like the Tree Geebung, that are still under threat from VicForests destructive logging. VicForests needs to be wound up.” said Chris Schuringa, Victorian Forest Alliance Campaign Coordinator.

While the government has said they are phasing out native forest logging on Jan 1, they have not made a decision about the future of failed state owned logging agency VicForests. 

Tree Geebung (Persoonia arborea) is a mid-story tree found only in the tall wet forests of Victoria’s Central Highlands. Research shows trees over 20 cm in diameter can be hundreds of years old. On 26 October 2022, Warburton Environment Inc. won a landmark Supreme Court case against VicForests over the agency's failure to protect Tree Geebung from logging. In his judgement, Hon. Justice Garde stated; 

“ attempt was made by VicForests to show that it was not reasonably practicable to protect the significant number of Tree Geebungs… Given the evidence as to the past harvesting and burning practices of VicForests, it is highly likely that significant numbers of mature Tree Geebungs have been lost in the Central Highlands in the past through harvesting and regeneration burning. The precise extent of the loss will never be known, but on the basis of recent records it is likely to amount to many hundreds or even thousands of mature trees.”

One of many endangered Tree Geebungs destroyed in 'regeneration' works

“Citizen scientists and volunteer groups have been shouldering the responsibility of finding and reporting countless breaches of the laws for years. Yet the state government recently brought in laws to further criminalise citizen scientists and peaceful protesters, who now face thousands of dollars worth of fines and potential jail time, instead of cracking down on rampant illegal logging.” said Wildlife of the Central Highlands (WOTCH) President Hayley Forster

“The government must enact proper protections for forests, particularly after Jan 1 when logging is slated to end. Logging has had terrible impacts on forests over the last 50 years, and there’s a lot of important ecological restoration work that needs to be done. But VicForests have shown that it cannot be trusted in that role.” said Hayley Forster

“These areas were promised to have been protected since 2019, but the government has been slow to formalise, now threatened species are being smashed up in the name of restoration. The forests need real restoration, not further destruction.” said VNPA Executive Director, Matt Ruchel 

“The community has lost faith in VicForests and they need to go sooner rather than later”. said VNPA Executive Director, Matt Ruchel 


Available for comment


Hayley Forster


Wildlife of the Central Highlands

0424 386 004

[email protected]

Chris Schuringa

Campaign Coordinator

Victorian Forest Alliance

0418 912 625

[email protected]

Matt Ruchel

Executive Director

Victorian National Parks Association 

0418 357 813

[email protected]


SOSF media release: Save Our Strathbogie Forest challenges legality of planned burns

Today, community group Save Our Strathbogie Forest has launched a legal challenge against the State of Victoria to halt several planned burns in the Strathbogie Forest, pending a review of these burns under Australian Government law, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act. There is a considerable and growing body of evidence that shows the serious and negative impact planned burning (aka fuel reduction burning) can have on forest ecosystems.Credit: Save Our Strathbogie Forest

One of the more immediate and consequential impacts of planned burning is the loss of hollow-bearing trees (and their hollows) for those fauna species that rely on hollows either seasonally, for breeding, or daily, for shelter. Australia has amongst the largest number of hollow-dependent fauna, over 300 species, of any country. The Strathbogie Forest is a recognized stronghold for the Southern Greater Glider (Petauroides volans), a species that relies on hollows in large, old trees and is protected under state and national environment laws.

Between 2016 and 2019, citizen science surveys and government research detected high densities of the Southern Greater Glider across large parts of this 24,000 ha forest, among the highest densities recorded for this species anywhere in southern Australia. In the 2023-24 fire season, the Victorian government has plans to burn several thousand hectares of forest habitat as part of their annual planned burning program. Much of the forest slated for burning is known to support populations of the Southern Greater Glider. The Save Our Strathbogie Forest community group believes these burns will 1) significantly degrade Southern Greater Glider habitat by killing and burning many of the hollow-bearing trees the species needs to survive and 2) directly kill many hundreds of the gliders.Endangered Southern greater glider, credit: Save Our Strathbogie Forest

Planned burns in the Strathbogie Forest often kill and destroy old-growth eucalypts, which are critical habitat for the Southern Greater Glider. Though we have made every effort to voice our concerns in the strongest possible way to the relevant government agencies and to government itself, our concerns and requests have been completely and repeatedly rebutted. We have enlisted the assistance of Bleyer Lawyers to challenge the legitimacy of these burns in the
Federal Court.

The Victorian government maintains its planned burning practices in the Strathbogie Forest are exempt from the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999), which we believe is based on two exemptions it has received. The first of these was in 2009 and the second in 2020 (links below). These exemptions relate to activities in the wake of the Black Saturday and Black Summer fires.

Our arguments are that these exemptions are not general exemptions for planned burning. Should our legal challenge be successful, the Victorian Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action should be required to refer future planned burns in the Strathbogie Forest to the Federal Environment Department. That Federal Department should then decide how or if planned burns should proceed given the significant impact of them on the Southern Greater Glider habitat in the Strathbogie Forest. A positive outcome for the Strathbogie Forest is likely to have broader application, for example to other EPBC listed species and habitats in other parts of Australia.


Media contact:
Bertram Lobert
President, Save Our Strathbogie Forest
M. 0409433276, Ph. 03 5790 8606
[email protected]

EPBC Act exemptions referred to above
11 Feb 2009 Exemption & Statement of reasons
14 Jan 2020 Exemption decision & Exemption statement of reasons


BREAKING: Conservationists celebrate reports that state government will end native forest logging by the end of the year

This morning the ABC has reported that the Daniel Andrews government has made a decision to bring forward the transition out of native forest logging, from 2030 to January 2024

Conservationists and forest campaigners from across the state are celebrating the news, after long, and hard fought campaigns, some spanning nearly four decades. Only months after the announcement in 2019 that native forest logging would be phased out through a decade-long transition, one of the largest and most devastating bushfires in human memory wiped out more than two thirds of the forest in the far east of the state, decimating forests and wildlife. Despite the catastrophic impacts of the fires, native forest logging continued.

Citizen scientists & forest defenders gathering in Toolangi to oppose anti-protest lawsBefore the announcement in 2019, and to this day, state owned logging company VicForests has been involved in countless controversies and scandals, from serious breaches to environment laws, to using public funds to spy on conservationists and scientists. Last year VicForests reported a record annual loss of $54 million, subsidised by tax-payers.

Community legal cases and forms of direct action like citizen science have long been used to hold the state owned logging agency accountable to the law, and to try and protect forests under threat from logging. Most recently a landmark case halted logging where endangered greater gliders and yellow-bellied gliders are found. The case was instrumental in upholding VicForests’ legal requirements to survey for wildlife prior to logging, a law they had been ignoring for years.

Spokesperson and Campaign Coordinator for the Victorian Forest Alliance, Chris Schuringa stated, “This is a monumental win; for forests, for wildlife, for climate, and for the hard-working people who have spent countless hours surveying for endangered species, preparing evidence for court cases, lobbying, and campaigning. Some have been fighting for this for over three decades.”

“There is still a lot of work to be done to ensure these forests are permanently protected from all kinds of destructive practices - not just conventional logging. The next priority is to focus on supporting workers through a just transition and restoring Victoria’s native forests, which will provide real, lasting, sustainable employment for regional communities.”

“But for now, we are overjoyed by this historic announcement, and acknowledge the hard work, passion and perseverance of all the people who have been fighting for this for so long.” said Chris Schuringa, VFA Campaign Coordinator.



Media contacts

Chris Schuringa

VFA Campaign Coordinator

[email protected]

0418 912 625

Mika Tran 

VFA Media & Communications Officer

[email protected]

0412 893 513 

MEDIA STATEMENT: Closure of white paper production at the Maryvale mill pulls the hand break on native forest logging in Victoria

The Victorian Forest Alliance understands from news this morning that the white paper production line at the Maryvale mill will be closing. The mill will continue to produce brown paper and packaging.

The mill produces paper from woodchips sourced from Victoria’s native forests and has driven the decline of numerous threatened species for decades. Native forest logging has been under fire for many years, particularly over ongoing controversy around breaches of state environment laws. Most recently in a landmark case, state-owned logging company VicForests was found to have failed to survey for, and protect endangered greater gliders before logging. 

A 30-year contract signed with Nippon to supply woodchips from Victorian native forests till 2030 was never going to be sustainable. Despite long-standing issues with supply, breaches to environment laws and findings of illegal logging, there has been little to no planning for this announcement, or proper support for workers to transition to sustainable, long-term employment.

On top of this, native forest logging is heavily subsidised by tax-payers. Last year in December VicForests’ annual report showed a whopping $54 million dollar loss.


Quotes from Victorian Forest Alliance campaign coordinator Chris Schuringa:

“The warning signs of the devastating consequences of ongoing native forest logging have been around for a long time. This ultimately shows just how unsustainable native forest logging is in Victoria, and that it cannot continue.” 

“Businesses don’t want it, the Victorian public certainly don’t support it, and now the Andrews state government must act to rapidly end native forest logging and support workers to transition immediately.”

“The Andrews government has a plan to continue logging for another seven years. The 2030 end date was always far too late. They can and must act now to finally end the destruction, and protect these forests.”



Chris Schuringa (she/her) 

VFA Campaign Coordinator 

[email protected]

0418 912 625


Nic Fox (she/her)

VFA President

[email protected]

0427 258 333


MEDIA RELEASE: Emissions from native forest logging in south-eastern Australia are greater than Australia’s domestic aviation

13 February 2023



from The Tree Projects and Victorian Forest Alliance

Recent reports have found that native forest logging in south-eastern Australia emits 11.2 million tonnes of carbon each year. That’s equivalent to the annual emissions of 2.6 million cars and is greater than the annual emissions of Australia’s domestic aviation industry.

A new report released last Thursday titled “NSW Forest Carbon: An Effective Climate Change Solution” shows that logging in New South Wales emits 3.6 million tonnes of carbon each year. This joins another two reports which show that Victoria’s native forest logging industry emits 3 million tonnes of carbon each year, while logging in Tasmania emits 4.6 million tonnes.


If native forests were protected in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania, 212 million tonnes of carbon could be prevented from entering the atmosphere by 2050. That would have the equivalent benefit of shutting down Australia’s dirtiest coal power plant for 22 years.

Dr Jennifer Sanger, from the Tree Projects, is the author of the three reports and says the results are alarming. “I think many Australians would be shocked to find out that native forest logging is such a high emitting industry”, said Dr Sanger. “We need to act now on climate change and for Australia, this means ending native forest logging. Protecting forests is a low-cost, effective and immediate way to achieve emissions reduction. If the Australian Government wants to get serious about climate change then they need to act on this issue.”

The reports were written in response to the lack of transparency in current emissions reporting requirements. “Due to the way that emissions are reported, the emissions from native forest logging are not separated from the carbon dioxide absorbed by our forests,” said Dr Sanger. “Only a net figure is reported, which masks the true level of forestry’s emissions.”

The Victorian report was commissioned by Victorian Forest Alliance and published ahead of the state election in November last year.  Spokesperson from Victorian Forest Alliance, Chris Schuringa, says the findings of these reports presents a time-bound opportunity for governments. “It couldn’t be any clearer. Native forest logging is terrible for climate and it’s terrible for biodiversity, pushing threatened species like the endangered greater glider, closer towards extinction. Ending native forest logging is a glaring opportunity to work with nature, not against it and take real action on climate.”

The Victorian Forest Alliance is calling for a rapid end to native forest logging. The Dan Andrews government currently plans to continue native forest logging until 2030.

-- END –


The Tree Projects

Victorian Forest Alliance

Dr. Jennifer Sanger

Ecologist & Author

[email protected]

0423 008 166


Mika Tran

Media & Communications Officer

[email protected]

0412 893 513


Glider protection areas logged before being protected

One of the protected areas in ColquhounThe Andrews government recently set aside protection areas in native forests across the state for protection of the endangered greater glider. However, conservation groups are shocked to discover a large number of the protected areas have been logged in the last 24 months. According to our analysis, around 17 areas within the protection areas were logged before being protected. 

Read the exclusive coverage in The Age here.

The greater glider (Petauroides volans), a once common species, was first listed as vulnerable on the Federal Government’s threatened species list in 2016, and in less than six years, is now listed as endangered. Greater gliders are native forest dependent, relying on the hollows of older trees for nesting and shelter. Native forest logging is known to have devastating impacts on greater gliders and their habitat. The state government’s environment department released the protection areas in October, and said they didn’t know a number of the areas had been recently logged. Protected area in Mansfield

When we met with the biodiversity team in the Environment Department to question their decision to protect recently logged areas, the Department claimed they weren’t aware. Some areas protected do contain quality greater glider habitat, particularly in the Bendoc forest area, but others include recently clear-felled forests, many with a number of greater glider detections found. It’s very likely these animals will have perished from the direct impacts of logging operations, or following logging from lack of suitable habitat and food sources. The Department claims to have used ‘the best available science’ to protect high-quality glider habitat.

Protected area in Swifts CreekYet photographs and footage gathered on the ground, plus recent satellite imagery indicates that protection areas in Swifts Creek, Nunniong and the Colquhoun in East Gippsland, plus areas in Mansfield and Baw Baw in the Central Highlands have been logged – some as recently as six months ago.

VFA spokesperson Chris Schuringa states, “Why is the government protecting recently logged areas, and still destroying prime greater glider habitat? It’s no wonder the species has gone from common to endangered in the last six years under this government.”

Just a few weeks ago the Supreme Court ruled that the state-owned logging company VicForests has been illegally logging in forests containing greater gliders and yellow-bellied gliders. The judge said VicForests had failed to survey for, find, and adequately protect the species in the Central Highlands and East Gippsland areas. 

We are calling for greater accountability and immediate protection of Victoria’s native forests.Protected area in Tanjil

Chris Schuringa states,“This avoidable oversight has devastating and irreversible consequences for the endangered greater glider, for forest ecosystems and for climate. We need protection areas that actually protect intact native forests and genuine greater glider habitat. It appears that VicForests had an indication of where these protection areas might be placed, and went in to log them before they could be protected. It’s disgraceful.”

“We know continued logging of wildlife habitat is not only unconscionable, but numerous court cases show it’s unlawful as well. The only way to truly protect this species and reverse the extinction crisis is to end native forest logging now.”


Photo credits:

Lisa Roberts from Friends of Bats and Habitat, Gippsland Environment Group, Wildlife of the Central Highlands, and the Victorian Forest Alliance

Media contact:

Chris Schuringa

VFA Campaign coordinator

[email protected]