Brown Mountain

Bob Brown for Brown Mountain: Treasury Place Today!

Bob Brown press conference 1pm (Wednesday 28-1-09)

Contents: ">"Bob Brown: Threatened animal find must stop Brown Mountain logging, ">"Sue Pennicuik: Heartbreak at Brown Mountain", ">"Logging on Brown Mountain is state sanctioned vandalism"

Bob Brown will be holding a conference with Liz from the Forest Alliance tomorrow (Wednesday 28 Jan, 2009) at 1pm to talk about the threatened species on Brown Mountain and the urgent need for the govt to live up to its responsibilities.

After activists presented the findings of the mammal survey to the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) minister's office this morning, DSE agreed to carry out a survey to confirm the forest defenders' findings. The forest activists have employed a local zoologist - Rohan Bilney.

Be outside the Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices in Treasury Gardens at 1pm in a show of solidarity between species for this country and this planet.

" id="BobBrown">Threatened animal find must stop Brown Mountain logging

Premier John Brumby must pull loggers out of East Gippsland's Brown Mountain following the discovery of threatened species in the area, Greens Leader Bob Brown said in Melbourne today.

Environment East Gippsland commissioned a survey of two areas slated for logging that has found evidence of threatened species, including the Sooty Owl.

A separate search last weekend also found the threatened Orbost Spiny Crayfish in a creek near where VicForests has already started bulldozing.

"The Department of Sustainability and Environment must be hanging its head with shame that it failed in its responsibility to properly survey the area before logging was given the go ahead," Senator Brown said.

"Premier John Brumby must put a halt to logging while the findings of the EEG surveys are confirmed.

"We heard only yesterday that the global market for woodchips has plunged, so there is even less need for Victoria's precious old-growth forests to be feeding Eden's woodchip mill.

"These forests have far greater value in housing our diverse native species and storing carbon, which would otherwise be released through logging and burning.

"If the government won't protect the state's animals then it's up to its citizens, whether through protest, identifying threatened species, or taking legal action," Senator Brown said.

Further information: Ebony Bennett 0409 164 603

" id="SuePennicuik">Heartbreak at Brown Mountain

Originally published at on

27 Jan 09

Greens MP, Sue Pennicuik visited the Brown Mountain area over the Australia Day weekend and described the destruction of the old growth forest to the east of Brown Mountain Creek as 'heartbreaking'.

"I spent Sunday morning walking through one fantastic stand of old growth to the west of Brown Mountain Creek, where trees with 11 and 12 metre circumferences towered above us. They could be up to 400 years old," said Ms Pennicuik. Anyone who went there could only be awed and inspired and would want to see it protected.

"I was devastated to then visit an adjacent area that has been clear felled by Vic Forests over November and December. To see what just a few weeks ago was magnificent rainforest smashed to pieces is just terrible. It is senseless. Giant trees that have lived for hundreds of years and were home to threatened species have been just knocked to the ground in what now resembles a moonscape.

"This area is significant old growth forest of high conservation value because of the diversity of species, the age range of the trees - young, medium, and the giants that are hundreds of years old. It supports a wealth of native animals including threatened species such as the sooty owl, the greater and yellow bellied gliders and the spiny crayfish, which was spotted in the creek," she said.

During the 2006 state election the ALP pledged to protect all the remaining significant old growth forest in East Gippsland.

"It is a mistake by the government not to preserve the whole area as a vital link between the Errinundra and Snowy River National Parks. Even though one part of it has now been lost, it is not too late to prevent the destruction of any more of it," she said.

"I call on the Brumby government to take control of Vic Forests and put a stop to the planned logging in two more coupes at Brown Mountain. This area was listed as part of the National Estate in the 1980's and the values that enabled that listing are still there and are more important than ever," she said.

"This significant old growth forest is owned by the Victorian people, not by Vic Forests. It is far more valuable to the community now and in the future as carbon storage, as part of the Snowy River catchment and as an area of irreplaceable natural beauty than as a pile of woodchips heading to Japan," she said.

For further comment: Sue Pennicuik – 0407 000 270,

" id="SuePennicuik2">Logging on Brown Mountain is state sanctioned vandalism

Originally published at on 7 Nov08

Greens MP, Sue Pennicuik said today that logging at Brown Mountain in East Gippsland is state sanctioned vandalism and a blatant overturning of the ALP's 2006 commitment to protect old growth forests in East Gippsland.

Addressing protestors on the steps of state parliament, Ms Pennicuik said that "Nineteen years ago a forest protest at Brown Mountain stopped logging there in the lead up to the 1990 federal election. It is outrageous that it has commenced again now." said Ms Pennicuik. "The continued logging of old growth forests in this time of climate change is an absolute disgrace."

"You would think that the state government would have had time to learn since 1990 that old growth forests are much more valuable as critical carbon and biodiversity stores than as woodchips. The forests of East Gippsland must be protected and not logged as fodder at a bargain basement price for the Eden chip mill," she said.

The current Minister for the Environment Gavin Jennings should remember the Brown Mountain forests well. He was centrally involved in the negotiations which led to logging being stopped in 1990 in his role as an adviser to the then Environment Minister.

"Brown Mountain is part of the Snowy River catchment and so should be protected for that reason alone," she said."It forms the headwaters of the Bonang River and contains giant old-growth trees, which have been identified and mapped as part of a community-supported "Valley of the Giants" walking track. Many Victorians will have walked parts of Brown Mountain and have seen the magnificent trees for themselves."

"The government says it wants to deliver a 5,000 ha link between the Snowy and Errinundra National Parks. Brown Mountain is a vital part of this link," she said.

"It's not good enough for the Premier to claim he can't do anything. This forest is owned by the Victorian people. The logging contractors must be removed immediately and the area included for protection when the government (finally) delivers on it's 2006 election promise to protect 40,000 ha of old-growth and iconic forests in East Gippsland," she said.

Background: This area contains three highly contentious areas of forest known as coupes (840-502-0015, 840-502-0019, 840-502-0020) that were only added to the logging schedule in July 2007. Logging of these coupes would clearly contravene the government's commitment to protecting the last stands of old-growth forests in Victoria. Coupe 840-502-0020 is the one currently being logged.

For further comment: Sue Pennicuik – 0407 000 270,

Brown Mountain Rape

S.O.S! Longitude: 148.74495E Latitude: 37.26S. East Gippsland Victoria Australia

The logging of old growth forest at Brown Mountain has been precipitate and swift. Few Victorians would be aware of the destruction which has occurred over the past few weeks in forest wild life habitat.

Anti logging activists/environmentalists are scrambling to document the presence of an endangered crustacean in the local river and endangered glider population in an area which is now being denuded. For the logging company and the government it is best for the public to find this out in hindsight, or it is likely that clear felling would have to be reconsidered.

Activists are hoisted high in the trees

See red ring. Do you know anyone with this kind of guts and committment? Don't you think they deserve more support than the government? (Ed.)

"Activists are hoisted high in the trees," writes Jill Redwood, as she reports hastily from East Gippsland, six hours from Melbourne, where she literally has only hours to work to slow or halt further destruction of this area.

Loads of news to report - Brown Mountain (on Australia Day)

Sue Pennicuik (Greens MLC Victoria) drove up to Brown Mt to witness the destruction and breaches of the law which have been occurring. She spoke with contractors (in Stony Creek) and with protesters.

Walking into these areas, there are very strong signs of the illegal taking of burls (a commercial operation) and the illegal taking of a giant tree outside the designated logging boundary.

Endangered crayfish has been sighted

Endangered Orbost Spiny Cray (Euastacus diversus) has been discovered in Brown Mt. Creek. With this one, it's a race against time to have it recognised by the government before its habitat is logged. Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) seem more worried about whether the people who discovered it had a permit rather than if the crayfish warrants protection from bulldozers near its creek.

High populations of arboreal (tree living) mammals

High populations of arboreal (tree living) mammals have also been discovered in Brown Mt this weekend by researchers. They are there in densities which should trigger protection for the area under the Forest Management Plan prescriptions, of immediate halt to logging plans while the rich wildlife site is verified by DSE.

Greater Gliders, Yellow-bellied Gliders, and Potoroos have also been found across the track).

Many breaches constantly being discovered, according to this report:

1. bulldozing of mixed rainforest along Brown Mountain Creek in readiness to start clearfelling the adjoining stand of ancient forest.

2. contractor/logger being investigated for theft of burls.

3. Huge old tree has been felled outside the coupe boundary - illegal logging.

4. VicForests has prohibited access through the tourist road into the park for the past 3 months of holidays - with no alternative route offered. Only two days ago, after weeks of complaint, have they made a change that allows tourists into the National Park! Comment: Who owns these areas!?

5. Logging has continued against occupational health and safety regulations when members of the public are present. Worksafe is believed to be investigating.

6. Bulldozers' used oil filters left lying on the ground contaminating soil and eventually water course.

This is how the Brumby Government treats our National Heritage of ancient forests and threatened species - on Australia Day!

Members of the public can be and are charged for entering these areas to expose the illegal goings on - but no one is checking on the loggers or VicForests!

Bulldozer boundary track has been put around the adjoining stand of old growth in prep for the start of clearfelling this week!

It's one minute to midnight. Please help in whatever way you can -

* get up here to help stall the logging -
* call the Premier's office (bypass Jennings) 9651 5000 and get outraged by any of the above ...
* pass this email around to friends or any journalists you know.
* find a VIP/sports celeb etc who might like to help up the profile of this issue (cottage accommodation if they want to visit)
* there could be a new group of older women (seniors) about to start getting active. Do you know others who could join in?
* call talkback radio and speak your heart
* write short pithy letters to newspapers (dailys or metro - eastern burbs useful).
* handwrite (most influential), type or email a letter to Brumby demanding an immediate halt to such a rich area. Write to the Treasurer John Lenders (c/- Parliament House Spring St Melb) demanding VicForests be pulled into line - for economic and on the ground accountability.

"in haste ... Jill Redwood..."