My photo
I ran away from teaching to the country to grow veggies. There are also some chooks and a pair of troublesome goats who were so much trouble they had to go! My simple green life isn't always as simple or as green as I'd like...but I keep trying!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I nearly got arrested!

Well, that is a bit of an over-statement...but The Cook and I were threatened with arrest.  The Cook has a job at a local magazine and we were sleuthing out a story about logging in the Toolangi Forest and a protest about same.

The protestors, The Central Highlands Action Group, had a camp
and welcomed us warmly.  Past their camp was gate across the road
and a man in a ute.

Although he said that he would rather we didn't, we walked past the gate and up the road.
This was not illegal until we got to this sign:

That's when he drove up and warned us that if we went any further,
her would call it in and have us arrested!
We didn't push the point.

The protesters had halted logging for over a day by locking themselves to machinery and with two tree-sits.  But as you can tell by these pictures, the loggers were back at work yesterday.

The concern for this particular piece of forest is that it is, as the protesters told us, 'the green hole in the black donut'. It was ringed by fire but not burned in the Black Saturday fires three years ago.
As such, it became a sanctuary for fleeing wildlife and has supported it ever since as the forest around has begun to regenerate.

According to my research, this area is listed among the second most at risk habitats in the country and is home to between 120 and 140 threatened species.  The Leadbeater possum being one of these.  The Victorian Government is looking at altering the Flora and Fauna Act.  At present the appropriate department only searches for endangered species in areas likely to be logged.  Changes will mean their surveys will include land already locked up in reserves and national parks with the aim of disproving the endangered status of many species.  According to the Age newspaper, senior department and government sources have confirmed the government wants to overhaul the act amid concerns that environment groups are becoming more skillful at capturing footage of endangered species to thwart logging operations.

I may not be taking up the activist's offer to teach me how to climb trees, but I may take them a cake next week.


  1. Oh goodness. What is the rationale behind it all? Money. It makes me sad that these go on....I'm glad you weren't arrested and I hope that things can be done to curb this destructive act.

  2. Good on you Hazel and the cook! I think a home baked cake will be sincerely appreciated by all. Sometimes it's hard to get supplies into the forest.

    Governments just don't seem able to see the "big picture" anymore or think of future generations.

    They blame young people for being the "NOW" generation but hello, what an example they give.

    Keep up the good work.


  3. :'( too sad, why are people so greedy and thoughtless. I like the *graffiti* on the logging truck. Truly heartbreaking to see such havens destroyed.

  4. I just don't understand why they are doing this to toolangi considering recent history. Were they logging the area when it was owned by Vicforest or is it because they sold the land to a logging company? Do you know which company it is?I know Midway has property nearby... Such bastards. the Victorian government has serious problems at the moment.

  5. Phoebe it is Vicforest that is logging. It is a government 'commercial' venture. They have a dot-com not very governmenty. I asked the guy I spoke to yesterday what the government (i.e. 'we')gets from the venture...he said, taxation and dividends. He was also good at statistics...making the amount of logging look small in the big picture of all the forests we have. But they don't take a long view...about one third of eucalyptus forests (dry and open woodland) has disappeared since European over the long view the statistics are different. Also I wouldn't mind if they were using the wood for something useful...but mostly it is being chipped and made into Reflex paper...when recycled paper is available.

  6. Thanks for reporting on this , Hazel. Information to us all on matters like this is so important.We are all cogs in a big wheel, and the more that we know , the more we can do. I wish I could take them a cake too.A stop on buying Reflex paper and buying recycled instead maybe next for me.

  7. Don't the idiots making the decision to log the forests have children? Don't they care about the animals being killed and those left being terrified? etc etc etc.

    Thank you Hazel for making the effort to go and look and talk.

  8. Good on you Hazel! You don't have to climb trees indeed to support the cause, other indirect ways like giving them some nice cake is just as helpful and meaningful :)

  9. Its shameful....take them two or three cakes....

  10. Thankyou for highlighting this. I for one am becoming increasingly disillusioned and upset by our current state govenments attitude to the environment. My vote is defintely for cake!

  11. Nice one Hazel. Logging old growth forests should be banned. Here, here to the protesters, and to you and the cook for doing your bit!

  12. I have just given your blog the Liebster Blog award because I love it.

  13. Good information to share with everyone.

  14. Great but sad post. Thumbs up too to the grafitti on the cab. Bastard big money men they don't care about the future for their children and grandchildren. Good on you for taking them a cake.


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