Leadbeater's Possum Buffer Burnt in Post-Logging Burn

On two separate occasions, the 27th of April and 31st of May 2019, community field surveyors investigated VicForests logging coupe 317-508-0011 ‘Swing Mid’ along Warburton – Woods Point Road, near The Triangle. The initial investigation found that the post-logging regeneration burn that was undertaken in an attempt to regenerate VicForests logging coupe 317-508-0011, had escaped the confines of the coupe boundary and had devastated parts of a critically endangered Leadbeater’s Possum Special Protection Zone.

Key Findings:

  • The organization/s responsible for the post-logging regeneration burn have breached the Code of Practice for Timber Production 2014 and have therefore conducted illegal timber harvesting operations.

  • VicForests continue to carry out their logging operations while ignoring the most relevant and up-to-date science. By doing so, VicForests have breached mandatory prescriptions of the Code of Practice for Timber Production 2014.

  • The current timber harvesting exclusion zone of just 200m around each verified sighting of a Leadbeater’s Possum is grossly inadequate for the protection of this species and should be extended by at least 1km as recommended by the Australian National University scientists.

  • The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) or the Office of the Conservation Regulator (OCR) must visit the site of this investigation as soon as possible and prosecute whoever is responsible for this breach.

Justin Cally