Thursday, October 05, 2006

is it time for ministerial intervention?

Cr Tim Heenan, Cr Jeanette McRae, Cr Monika Keane, Cr Len Cox, Cr Samantha Dunn, Yarra Ranges CEO Rob Hauser, community members and Friends of Hoddles Creek representatives (you can visit FOHC at:

Earlier this week a group of community members and councillors met on the logging site at 565 Thonemans Rd, Hoddles Creek.

It was a sad affair, so much to lose and so little to gain from the clearfelling this 99 hectares of pristine forest.

Is it time to seek ministerial intervention? If you are concerned about VCATs determination, then write to your local member, write to the Ministers and the Premier too, it is time that the Labour Government really understood how our community feels when our local planning policies are completely ignored and loggers get the go ahead to clearfell land with significant environmental values.

Email the Premier at:

Email the Minister for Planning at:

Email the Minister for Environment at:

Email your local member at:
James Merlino (Monbulk)
Tammy Lobato (Gembrook)
Heather McTaggart (Evelyn)
Ben Hardman (Seymour)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

logging in hoddles creek - what can you do?

Does the logging at 565 Thonemans Road breach the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act?

How the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 may apply:

In 1999 the Australian Parliament enacted far-reaching reforms to national environment protectionlaws with the introduction of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). Amongst other things, the EPBC Act makes it an offence for any person to take an action that is likely to have a significant impact on matters protected by the Act, unless they have the approval of the Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage (the Environment Minister).

Those protected matters include matters of National Environmental Significance (NES matters) as well as the environment of Commonwealth land.

There are seven NES matters protected by the EPBC Act:
* World Heritage properties (places inscribed on the World Heritage list)
* National Heritage places (from 1 January 2004);
* Wetlands of international importance (listed under the Ramsar Convention)
* Migratory species (listed under international agreements)
* Nationally threatened species and ecological communities (listed under the EPBC Act)
* The Commonwealth marine area; and
* Nuclear matters.

Currently under the EPBC Act there are two species listed that are potentially on site in Hoddles Creek, Leadbeater's Possum and Tall Astelia.

Although a member of the public cannot refer an action to the Minister or the Department, if a member of the public believes that an action breaches the EPBC Act (in this case the logging may threaten a listed species), they may contact the Department of Environment and Heritage or write to the Commonwealth Environment Minister to report the action. The Department then investigates the matter.

If you'd like to read more about the Act visit

If you would like to report a compliance issue contact the DEH at:
Compliance and Enforcement contacts
Phone: (02) 6274 1372
Fax: (02) 6274 1878
Post: Department of the Environment and Heritage
Compliance and Enforcement Section
Approvals and Wildlife Division
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601

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