Victorian logging regulation: not ‘effective nor respected’

A tree stump in East Gippsland forest after being logged

A tree stump in the Serpentine Creek area in East Gippsland, where VicForests is alleged to have logged rainforest buffer zones. Supplied: GEGO

On 15 March 2019 the Victorian government released a review of the regulation of logging in Victoria and the evidence is damning. The report’s authors were clearly struck by problems they found: “What is abundantly clear is that the system of policy, legislation and regulation is dated, complex, convoluted – indeed labyrinthine – and difficult to use, and DELWP is neither an effective or respected regulator.”

The evidence is in and it is damning. Logging in Victoria is not effectively regulated.

The review was initiated by Minister D’Ambrosio last year following the Department’s failed prosecution of VicForests for rainforest logging breaches. The review was undertaken over five weeks commencing mid-September 2018 and, although delivered to the government in late October 2018 just prior to the commencement of the caretaker period, it has taken until now for the report to be released.

The time taken for the review was too short to conduct a thorough independent evaluation of compliance and enforcement or to conduct adequate consultation – for comparison a review of compliance and enforcement at EPA Victoria in 2010 took six months – but the panel conducting the review have made a good start in grappling with the multiple failings within the department.
(summary from Environmental Justice Australia)

Read more in an article by journalist Lisa Cox in the Guardian.

A couple of background articles to the review: on the RFA renewal process and the Court case here

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