Snap rally to stop logging

Sybil Disobedients march to Mary-Anne Thomas MP’s office.

More than 50 people attended a snap rally in Gisborne on Friday to voice their concerns about VicForests’ salvage logging in the Wombat State Forest.

Members of landcare and friends groups, Wombat Forestcare members and the Sybil Disobedients (Extinction Rebellion Ballarat) rallied to demand that the Victorian Government cease the logging and legislate the promised Wombat-Lerderderg National Park.

The rally moved to the office of Macedon MP Mary-Anne Thomas to deliver a letter of demand.

“In 2021 the Victorian Government undertook to create a new Wombat-Lerderderg National Park, instead they authorised a ‘log grab’ by VicForests,” Wombat Forestcare’s Gayle Osborne said.

“This salvage logging operation has seen hectares of forest cleared for machinery and log storage, wide tracks carved through the forest and heaps of flammable branches and bark created.

“The Wombat State Forest has conservation values that make it worthy of national park status, yet the government has failed to legislate the park and failed to protect its threatened species including the greater glider, recently listed as endangered.”

The Wombat Forest forms a significant part of the only largely intact vegetation in central Victoria and provides critical habitat for many species, including more than 40 threatened flora and fauna species.

Greater gliders, powerful owls, koalas and the critically endangered wombat leafless bossiaea are among those in need of urgent protection.

“The industrial scale ‘salvage’ logging by VicForests is being promoted as reducing bushfire risk, but instead is destroying critical habitat for wildlife,” Ms Osborne said.

“It has become overwhelmingly clear that this operation is a log grab to prop up a failing industry.”