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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.

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

Heartbreak at Brown Mountain

Originally published at mps.vic.greens.org.au/node/944 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, mps.vic.greens.org.au/suepennicuik

Logging on Brown Mountain is state sanctioned vandalism

Originally published at mps.vic.greens.org.au/node/944 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, mps.vic.greens.org.au/suepennicuik

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Comments

AWPC so supports Bob Brown and would love to be there with him, but we have an important
Devilbend Meeting to prepare for the Re-Classification of Devilbend as a NATURE CONSERVATION RESERVE
to preserve wildlife remaining in this core wildlife corridor habitat link, here on the Mornington Peninsula.
good luck and thanks Bob
best wishes,
Maryland