Sunday, August 28, 2011

sylvia creek injunction

The issue of logging in the Sylvia Creek region of the Toolangi State Forest has gained a lot of media attention since in commenced in July. Prior to the logging operations I joined with community members and my colleagues to tour the forest.

For the last 6 weeks community members have continued to disrupt logging operations with tree sits, lock on's and walk in's in attempts to stop the logging in the area. So far there's been around 14 arrests.

Thanks to Don Butcher for this image.

Earlier this month Toolangi locals and environment groups held a meeting to talk about the logging in the region.

The meeting was very well attended with 120 people coming from near and far to talk about the issue at the CJ Dennis hall in Toolangi.

I was there with my colleagues from Yarra Ranges, Crs McRae and Heenan. Cr Sally Abbot Smith from the Murrindindi Shire council was also there as well as Greg Barber MLC, Greens Spokesperson for the Environment.

There was lively and animated conversation as some members of the logging industry were there, but it was always respectful and it was clear that community members would like to see a solution that looks after the industry workers.

Cr Sally Abbot Smith described meeting organiser, Steve Meacher, as a Toolangi Living Legend to which he received a standing ovation.

Thanks to Don Butcher for this image.
Much community action has been at the frontline of the public safety zone. Here concerned community line up against the 'line' as a show of protest.

Thanks to Don Butcher for this image.
There's been a lot of media interest in the story, with camera crews and mainstream media often visiting Toolangi.

In latest events, local environment group, MyEnvironment, filed a writ in the Supreme Court last week, declaring the logging illegal and seeking an injunction and halt to logging.

The group successfully gained a short term injunction that will see a halt to logging till at least the 19th September. At this time the case for a longer injunction will be tested in court.

If you'd like to see the ABC 7:30 coverage of the story click here.

Or to read local newspaper coverage by Natalie Kotsios in the Yarra Ranges Weekly click here.

Back in June last year, the Shire of Yarra Ranges resolved to call for an immediate halt to logging and any future proposed logging on the Bicentennial Trail and Mt St Leonards, Toolangi due to the significant adverse impact on the local economy, tourism features and the environment.

Not only have we seen more logging in the region but the flow on effect means more damage to our environment, our local economy and the beauty and attraction of our area for tourists.

It will take a lot of resources for this volunteer environment group to take this case to court, if you'd like to support MyEnvironment and their fight for our forests then you can donate here.

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