Logging gets the axe in Victoria

Wednesday, 24 May 2023

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Logging gets the axe in Victoria

Logging in Victoria’s native forests to stop at year’s end

In a historic decision, the Victorian Government yesterday announced the end of native forest logging in the state.

This will see Victoria transition out of native forest logging by January 2024 – years ahead of the initial 2030 deadline. It’s welcome news for conservation and community groups who have been fighting for this outcome for decades – and for threatened woodland species like the Powerful Owl and Gang-gang Cockatoo, which depend on these native forests to survive.

Spanning more than 7 million hectares, Victoria’s native forests are the most carbon-dense on Earth and are key in slowing the effects of climate change. Conversely, native forest logging in Victoria produces around 3 million tonnes of carbon emissions each year.

These native forests are critical habitat for threatened and unique wildlife, but decades of logging have driven once-common species like the Greater Glider to the brink of extinction. And even after the devastating Black Summer Bushfires of 2019–20 burnt more than 1.4 million hectares of Victoria’s native forests, logging still continued in burnt and regenerating areas.

Chris Schuringa, from the Victorian Forest Alliance, said campaigners were “overjoyed”.

“This is a monumental win for forests, for wildlife, for climate and for the hard-working people who have spent countless hours surveying for endangered species, preparing evidence for court cases, lobbying and campaigning,” she said.

With habitat loss and destruction one of the greatest threats facing Australia’s birds today, we welcome this announcement and hope other state governments will follow in ending native forest logging. Now more than ever, it’s time to protect and restore our native forests – right across Australia.

Native forest logging continues to destroy bird habitat across the country, endangering species and contributing to climate change. You can take action for stronger nature laws to better protect our remaining native forests and other habitat by clicking here.