Hancock Watch Updates August 2005

"One step forward (FSC), three steps back."

Hancock again logging Cores and Links Reserve for the fourth time in 9 months!


July 2005 Strzelecki Ranges - Budgeree Road. Recently wipe out of about 30 metres of roadside reserve by Hancock and logging of 0.5 hectares of the Cores and Links Reserve. This logged area is supposed 1972 'mountain ash' established by Australian Paper Manufacturers. It looked like native forest to us. Access tracks have also been pushed through a Messmate forest at the south of this coupe to access more Mt Ash further south. Another access track to the west has also been reopened when there was no need to do so. This has meant the destruction of almost 140 metres of trackside vegetation. Were permits granted for this by Latrobe Shire? What mitigation is required for the loss of roadside reserves and reopening of tracks without proper permits? Why is Latrobe City Shire doing nothing about this clear breach of the Cores and Links Reserve?

July 2005 Strzelecki Ranges - Budgeree Road. The area adjoining the logging coupe shows the quality of the vegetation removed. Note the slope of the land, meaning that this area is inside the College Creek subcatchment - Cores and Links Reserve? The Cores and Links Reserve was based on sub-catchment protection.

Cores and Links Map - showing approximate locations of incursions into the Cores and Links areas. Site A was found in June 2005, whilst Site B is the latest incursion, inside the Cores and Links as determined by the Black Line.

July 2005: Strzelecki Ranges - Morwell River East Branch (ex APM leasehold land). Between 6-7 hectares of native scrub has most likely been cleared by Hancock subsidiary, Grand Ridge Plantations at this location. Have permits been granted from Latrobe City Council for this clearing? Some of this area was failed plantation supposedly established by APM in 1973, however native vegetation removal still requires permits. Latrobe City Council appear to be failing in their role as responsible authority and appear to side with industry rather than the local community in many instances.

July 2005: Strzelecki Ranges - Bennett Creek Catchment. Recent clearfelling of prime koala habitat near Jeeralang North Road. Where is the much mooted Koala Management Plan that was supposed to be written in conjunction with the Australia Koala Foundation? The Strzeleckis have the only relic population of koala left in Victoria and South Australia. All other populations are genetically inbred. In regards to the Strzelecki Koala, could it be another case of Going, Going, Gone?

July 2005: Young Strzelecki Koala. What does the future hold for these animals? Mountain Ash is a known food tree for koalas and Hancock is logging upwards of 600 to 800 hectares of Mountain Ash per annum.

July 2005: Strzelecki Ranges - Morris Creek/Macks Creek catchment. Koala Hotspot recently identified by Friends of Gippsland Bush and Friends of the Earth in this area of retained Mountain Grey gum and native vegetation. Hancock is refusing to covenant any of their native vegetation holdings. Without the covenants, these areas could still be threatened in the case of sale to unscrupulous operators. For more information on this area see here.

Google Earth image of prime Strzelecki Koala habitat in Macks Creek catchment.

July 2005: Remnant koala habitat in Morris Creek catchment.

July 2005: Strzelecki Ranges - Blythmans. Tarra River catchment. A couple of years ago this pine plantation was logged. High velocity winds knocked down remaining Radiata pine into a South Middle Creek rainforest gully. Hancock had since promised that this buffer would be replanted with Mountain Ash and had expressed that this replanting had already occurred. A recent visit to this site reveals that such replanting at this location has not yet occurred despite assurances that it had.

July 2005: Unimpressed tourists having a close look at Hancock bulldozer work in the Cores and Links Reserve which was supposedly established in 2004. This particular track had been reopened by Hancock in May/June 2005. Since then bulldozer drivers have come back in the wet and have created this ominous legacy. This shows Hancock's commitment to preserving the Cores and Links.

July 2005: Strzelecki Ranges. Old track showing extent of recovering native vegetation.

July 2005: Reopening of another 150 metres of tracks just off Budgeree Road. Alot of native vegetation has been destroyed at this track which leads to a recent clearfell inside the Cores and Links Reserve area. There was no need to open up this logging track. Were permits sought and granted? Why was the track even used?

July 2005: Budgeree Road Strzelecki Ranges. Another 30 metres of roadside reserve has been trashed at this location. The track in the background has also been reopened when there was no reason to do so, as access to two logging coupes was not needed from this track.

July 2005: Strzelecki Ranges - Budgeree Road. This was the site of a log dump, just metres off a major tourist road. Not also wet weather work.

July 2005: Strzelecki Ranges - Budgeree Road. Poor drainage of log dump.

July 2005: Strzelecki Ranges - Budgeree Road. Log dump and its location to major tourist road.

July 2005: Recent logging just off McPhails Road.

July 2005: Recent logging just off McPhails Road. Obvious signs of wet weather logging.

July 2005: Recent logging just off McPhails Road. What happened to the roadside reserve?

July 2005: Strzelecki Ranges Jeeralang Creek catchment. Jeeralang West Road, just up from Taylors Road. More roadside native vegetation is bound to be cleared at this location as an access point to a logging coupe.

July 2005: Middle Creek Road/Strzelecki Ranges. Appalling drainage on this road.

July 2005: Strzelecki Ranges - Recent hardwood logging in Traralgon Creek catchment.