Hancock Watch Updates

January 2004

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January 2004 - Strzelecki Ranges: Budgeree Road. Damp Forest which is an Endangered Ecological Vegetation Class in the Strzelecki Bioregion. This forest type is supposed to be afforded the highest level protection under Victorian State Government law. This forest contains habitat for Koalas, Powerful Owl, Quolls? and Greater Gliders. This road has been identified by Grand Ridge Plantations (Hancock) as an Identified Timber Haulage Route. Local Government and the Victorian Farmers Federation are also lobbying for this forest to be cleared and the road widened.

In 1997, a Department of Natural Resources and Environment Report, Infrastructure Impediments in Private Forestry, described a statewide strategy for developing infrastructure to provide cost-efficient transport for an expanded internationally competitive Victorian timber industry. The major impediment was the cost of upgrading and enhancing local roads and bridges to cope with increased timber haulage traffic from new areas.

Under the TIRES (Timber Industry Roads Evaluation Study) 307 local road and bridge upgrading projects were identified statewide in December 2000. These works were estimated to cost about $100 million over 10 years. Timber Towns Victoria (TTV), in cooperation with the Private Forestry Council of Victoria and Vicroads steered TIRES in order to develop transport for 'an internationally competitive Victorian timber industry'. TIRES was seen to meet the objectives of the Commonwealth Government's Vision 2020 for plantation development (which plans to treble the Nation's plantation base by the year 2020) and Regional Forest Agreements. TTV spearheaded the TIRES campaign.

The Chief Executive of Vicroads advised that $3.3 million of Better Roads Victoria (BRV) would be made to local timber roads in 2001/02 and that more funding would be allocated towards local roads based primarily on the recommendations of the TIRES Report. Local governments get funded through the scheme to widen roads primarily for the interests of the logging industry. Hancock will be the main beneficiaries of TIRES in the Gippsland region (and probably statewide) and will benefit by the destruction of High Conservation Valued Forest such as the forest identified above. How can this be a justified sustainable outcome?

The Statewide TIRE Committee included:

John Tanner (Chair), John Houlihan - Private Forestry Council/DNRE, Peter Anderson - Department of Infrastructure, Kevin Hadingham - Vicroads, Jon Drohan & Kevin Wright - Victorian Association of Forest Industries, Malcolm Tonkin - Plantations Australia.

North East Committee: 8 municipalities - John Tanner

Gippsland Committee: 6 Municipalities - Cr Helen Hoppner

Central West Committee: 10 Municaplities - Cr Bob Orr

South West Committee: 5 Munipalities - Cr Mick Murphy

October 22, 2005: Local community and members of the Greens Party taking a look at the impacts of the Budgeree Road widening.

January 2004- Strzelecki Ranges: This photo reveals Messmate stumps and Mountain Ash stumps. Hancock have deliberately logged an area of native forest and expanded their plantation holding in the vicinity of Paling Track and Kels Track south west of Carrajung in the Wellington Shire. Possibly between 3 -5 hectares of native forest was recently cleared from Bodman Block plantations (LEGL93-99) and possibly more native forest (25-30 hectares+) cleared in land that was managed by Australian Paper Plantations. Part of the area cleared was not listed as plantation under original State Government Plans. What's going on? Were permits sought or granted from Wellington Shire for this removal of native vegetation?

January 2004 - Strzelecki Ranges: The infamous plantation operation in the headwaters of the Merrimans Creek Water Supply Catchment just south of Mount Joy. Note the timber piles at the top of the hill. These are primarily native forest piles. This photo was taken west of the logging operation. For more information about this plantation click here. For more information about Merrimans Creek Water Supply Catchment click here. Plantation likely to be aerially bombarded with the herbicide Hexazinone in the near future. Soils here are the highly erodable Cretaceous Sediments.

January 2004 - Strzelecki Ranges: Eroding gully head on the eastern side of Merrimans Creek near Mount Joy. Soils here are the highly erodable Cretaceous Sediments.

January 2004 - Strzelecki Ranges: One of the timber piles identified south of Mount Joy. This pile consists of native forest and will be burnt by Hancock. So much for the arguement that Hancock only logs their plantations!

January 2004 - Strzelecki Ranges: The other timber pile identified south of Mount Joy near 'Cuming Road'. This pile consists of native forest and radita pine and will be burnt by Hancock.

January 2004 - Strzelecki Ranges: Recent trees cut down by Hancock for their cable logging operation south of Mount Joy.

January 2004 - Strzelecki Ranges: View south of Mount Joy looking south into tributary of Merrimans Creek. The vehicle in the distance was a spraying vehicle. The day this photo was taken, gale force winds were occurring. Note rocky outcrop in foreground. This entire slope needs to be retired from timber production. For more information about this plantation click here. For more information about Merrimans Creek Water Supply Catchment click here. Plantation likely to be aerially bombarded with the herbicide Hexazinone in the near future. Soils here are the highly erodable Cretaceous Sediments.

January 2004 - Northern Strzelecki Ranges near a tributary of Morrisons Creek in the Merrimans Creek Domestic Water Supply Catchment: Parish of Willung Allotment 24C. Stump says its all. Plantations supposed to stop erosion? Not here they don't. All of the plantation has been logged and was formerly owned by PaperlinX and is now owned by Hancock and mortgaged with Westpac Bank. For more information about Merrimans Creek Water Supply Catchment click here. Plantation likely to be aerially bombarded with the herbicide Hexazinone in the near future. Click here for more maps on Gippsland groundwater.

January 2004 - Northern Strzelecki Ranges near a tributary of Morrisons Creek in the Merrimans Creek Domestic Water Supply Catchment. Parish of Willung Allotment 24 B. This photo probably reveals a log dump which was recently torched. The fire would have been located about 5 metres from the tributary/drainage line of this plantation. The drainage line can be seen in this photo just below the flowering dogwood. Blackberries are choking this creek. Where is the 10 metre filter strip as required by the Code of Forest Practices for drainage lines?

All of the plantation has been logged and was formerly owned by PaperlinX and is now owned by Hancock and mortgaged with Westpac Bank. For more information about Merrimans Creek Water Supply Catchment click here. Plantation likely to be aerially bombarded with the herbicide Hexazinone in the near future. Click here for more maps on Gippsland groundwater.

January 2004 - Northern Strzelecki Ranges near a tributary of Morrisons Creek in the Merrimans Creek Domestic Water Supply Catchment. View looking west. Parish of Willung Allotment 24 B. Note the sandy soil which is likely to be quite porous. Aerial application of herbicides at this location may lead to both surface and groundwater pollution. All of the plantation has been logged and was formerly owned by PaperlinX and is now owned by Hancock and mortgaged with Westpac Bank. For more information about Merrimans Creek Water Supply Catchment click here. Plantation likely to be aerially bombarded with the herbicide Hexazinone in the near future. Click here for more maps on Gippsland groundwater.

January 2004 - Northern Strzelecki Ranges near Morrisons Creek in the Merrimans Creek Domestic Water Supply Catchment. Morrisons Creek Road. Parish of Willung - probably allotment 26C or 26D. This photo reveals a culvert which is 80% blocked with sediment. Erosion at this site was deplorable and most likely illegal in that drainage and roading at this site breaches the Code of Forest Practices. Wellington Shire is the responsible authority at this site.

January 2004 - Northern Strzelecki Ranges near Morrisons Creek in the Merrimans Creek Domestic Water Supply Catchment. Morrisons Creek Road. Parish of Willung - probably allotment 26C or 26D. No drainage on road leading to soil erosion which eventually flows 'through' the culvert shown in the preceding photo. This logging road is probably 'illegal'. Note slumping road batters.

January 2004 - Northern Strzelecki Ranges near Morrisons Creek in the Merrimans Creek Domestic Water Supply Catchment. Morrisons Creek Road. Parish of Willung - probably allotment 26C or 26D. Appalling roading and drainage which at this point is probably illegal. Culvert is shown in foreground. Logs have been torched causing scorching of soil which forms coral like structures and is extremely brittle and prone to erosion by wind and rain. Friends of Gippsland Bush have been reporting this problem for over 5 years and the very poor practice continues.

January 2004 - Northern Strzelecki Ranges near Morrisons Creek in the Merrimans Creek Domestic Water Supply Catchment. Morrisons Creek Road. Parish of Willung - probably allotment 26C or 26D. Appalling roading and drainage which at this point is probably illegal. Imagine what this road will look like in the event of heavy rain? Morrison Creek flows into Merrimans Creek about 2km north of this site.

January 2004 - Northern Strzelecki Ranges near Morrisons Creek in the Merrimans Creek Domestic Water Supply Catchment. Morrisons Creek Road. Parish of Willung - probably allotment 26C or 26D. Tunnel erosion cutting into area where drains are supposed to be.

 

January 2004 - Northern Strzeleckis Parish of Callignee near a tributary of Merrimans Creek. In ex Government run pine plantations (LEGL93-106) Callignee Estate Road. This logging track had been punched through native vegetation in order to get access to pine just over the hill. Numerous native trees destroyed at this site. For more information about this plantation click here. For more information about Merrimans Creek Water Supply Catchment click here. Plantation likely to be aerially bombarded with the herbicide Hexazinone in the near future. Soils here are the highly erodable Cretaceous Sediments.