Ms Citizen's Updates

for the geco list

25 January 2010

Howdy crew!

A new forest blog has just been set up by an inspired East Gippy skillshare first timer. Promote it thru your own networks as the old trees are still being felled every day out here with only a handful of dedicated crew trying to slow the destruction. Don't be fooled by the recent new reserves, so much was still left out and now the industry is targeting Special Protection Zones to log, all of which have very high conservation values. If you can get a carload together, come on out to the Goongerah campground where the base camp is established.

There is going to be a Goolengook reunion at Goolengook this coming Labour Day (Victoria) long weekend early. Stay tuned for details...

13 January 2010

Last weekends skillshare in Goongerah was very successful with over 50 people of diverse backgrounds in attendance including quite a few internationals...
Following the skillshare a blockade was established at Survey Road on the Errinundra Plateau, site of much protest action over the past 15+ years. Currently the blockade is still in place, but more crew are also needed to sustain such actions. Please come out if you can & support the direct action campaign, or get some city stuff happening. See for current updates & photos. Also & have plenty of good East Gippy info...

Plenty of Brown Mountain films on You Tube. Check out


Goongerah Environment Centre - GECO
est. 1994

11 may 2009




March from Fed Square at 5pm up Swanston Steet to Bourke, down Bourke St Mall, down Elizabeth St to finish at Flinders St Station steps.

There are also rolling blockades still happening out here in far East Gippsland. Logging of prehistoric Gondwanic rainforest at Bungywarr has been the focus of recent protest actions. If coming out be prepared for winter camping. A good camp with Geco Kitchen set up at Goongerah campground on Ellery Creek Track.
Contact if you are coming out or for updates. Futute e-correspodence will be from this address, not

Also the Florentine in Tassie needs crew, & it seems that the pulp mill permit is not legal (see todays "The Australian" online...).

For Rally details contact Daniel Ogilvie

Please come along & bring your friends!

19 april 2009

GECO Autumn update, April 2009

In Geco’s (Goongerah Environment Centre 1994-) 15th year of campaigning to protect the forests of far East Gippsland from logging, direct action has been continuing all Summer into Autumn, most recently on the Errinundra Plateau at Survey Road, scene of many protest actions over the past 12 years (see Geco archives @ More crew are always needed, so if you can make it out there is a permanent camp established in Goongerah at Ellery Creek campground, 70km’s north of Orbost. Bring a tent, warm clothes, food, cameras etc. Be prepared for wet weather. There are no shops in Goongerah. No pets please!
See Geco website for recent media releases.

AUTUMN SKILLSHARE 24-26 April 2009
Come along for another Skillshare next weekend at Goongerah campground on the Brodribb River. Practical workshops in climbing, rigging tree-sits, knot tying, legals, guided walks & activities including surveying, hair tubing & fauna call-backs at night.
Also talks & discussions, history of campaigning, wins in Victoria, the ecology of East Gippsland & sitting round the campfire with like minded people. GECO Kitchen facilities available.
For more info call 0416 886 234

The process of creating a new Greater Alpine National Parks plan is currently being undertaken by Parks Victoria. As part of the process the University of South Australia is researching experiences people have had in the Alpine Parks (including Errinundra & Snowy River N.P.s), environmental impacts observed, & special places. This is a great opportunity to have your say about our forests. To be involved in this confidential study contact Professor Greg Brown before 30 April 2009 ( or Dr Delene Weber (
Alpine National Parks Study @

“Proposal to burn native forest wood for power” (The Age 09/04/09 p.5)
There currently is a Brumby government draft strategy to ensure the future of the forestry industry by burning our native forests for “renewable green energy”. This has been in the pipeline for some time & must not be allowed to get up.
Also proposed are the doubling of the maximum length of timber contracts from 10 to 20 years & reviewing the role of the government-owned VicForests.
These changes would be disastrous for Victoria’s remaining forests & need to be vigorously opposed.
The full article is available on-line at (9 April 2009)

A recent carbon dating of an old growth tree recently logged at Brown Mountain, East Gippsland was found to be between 500-600 years old! This report was on Radio National recently including an interview with Jill Redwood. There are still more proposed logging coupes in Brown Mountain.

Write to the Premier & Minister for Environment about these issues, especially the burning forests for power archaic proposal.

You can also write to local & state newspapers & ring talk-back radio on these issues.

Geco Pirate Kitchen again had a successful Easter Confest with the biggest crew for a while raising much needed funds & awareness for the ongoing campaign. Good on Captain Flynny for his tireless efforts in getting it organised year after year.

The iconic forests of south-eastern Australia must be protected now! The logging industry will stop at nothing to continue the theft of public land with the complicity of governments. Only a loud, active public voice will ensure that our forests are protected.
Please get involved in the campaign.

24 january 2009

hello friends of da old forest!

this geco summer campaign update reports a successful skillshare was held in goongerah over 9-11 jan with over 30 new crew making the long journey out to the wilds of far east gippy to join the longer term crew. tree climbing, knot tying, old growth forest walks, night wildlife walks, guest speakers, communal cooking & camping were enjoyed by all. a blockade was set up by geco crew in iconic stony creek with 2 tree sits 30 metres high in the canopy of spectacular mixed ash forest locking down 4 forest destroying machines for 2 days. this was the first direct forest action for many of the skillsharers & a valuable experience in the what forest blockading is all about.

whilst some people left new crew continued to arrive & the actions kept rolling on with another tree-sit action at brown mountain. very good footage was captured throughout this day which should be available soon. as search & rescue got our "possum" down later that afternoon, a walk in lock down of a log loader occurred the following day with locals in attendance.
another elaborate tree sit was erected back in stony creek which search & rescue were unable to access, but they were able to free the logging machines. bad weather forced the brave possums down.

whilst the blockaders braved loggers, police, dse & vicforests drones, the media centre was working flat out getting the story out to the wider community with great success. we got local tv & radio, national newspapers & abc radio into melbourne & across australia. a great effort by the whole team, especially spokesperson kate reynolds who conducted numerous interviews over a very hectic week.

currently there is a victorian national parks association ( camp here at the goongerah campground with over 50 in attendance. rumour has it that the loggers will move into the next brown mountain coupe as soon as numbers out here die down, so we urge everyone who can to pack their car full of people, food & fuel (or jump on a v-line train to orbost & we''ll pick u up), & get out here asap to support the current crew who have been going hard for the past few months!

if u can't make it out to the forests, please take the time to write to newspapers, politicians, call talk back radio, organise a gig, rally, action in the city, whatever it is u can do. check out for contax etc, or call 51540173 or 51540112 for info if you're coming out.

ancient forests must survive!

6 januaey 2009

hi crew!

this summer there are 2 forests camps in lush goongerah, gateway to the tall wet forests of the errinundra & snowy river national parks, far east gippsland.

9-11 jan geco skillshare focusing on blockading skills (tree climbing, rigging, ropes & knots, bush walks, campaigning, media etc...)

22-26 jan victorian national parks association (vnpa) old growth forest camp
guided forest tours (by car), walks, wildlife, bird watching, campaign updates...
more info 93475188 or

between these camps is also a good opportunity to camp & explore the forests & lovely coast of east gippsland...

both camps will be at the tranquil ellery creek campground in goongerah where the brodbibb river flows. please come self sufficient (food, shelter, wet weather gear, good boots etc). fuel up in orbost (vic) or delegate (nsw).

a major focus of these camps is the ongoing campaign to protect the remaining old growth forest in east gippsland, especially brown mountain, 20 minutes from goongerah. this summer may be our last opportunity...

see you in the old growth!


4 december 2008

Summers here . . . Come to the inaugural Treez, TVs & Tunez @ 11a Hope St on Thursday 11 December for a night of films, music, chai and more!

Film: Pickaxe (fantastic fun doco on Arcadia, Canada, the fight for Old Growth)

Live Music:
Acoustic - Katt Beames trio
Electronic - Spider Orchid

Hear updates from:
> Brown Mountain, East Gippsland
(Recent photos from off the beaten track)
> Melbourne Water Catchment Network
(How to save water more than one glass at a time)
Plus chai, treats and 3 Video booths with action pakt films and recent footage of Brown Mountain

doors open 6pm, film screening at 8pm
$5 or more is the suggested donation
Proceeds towards community groups focusing on Brown Mountain and Melbourne’s Water Catchments

Pickaxe documents efforts to halt logging at Warner Creek, a federally protected forest in Oregon. Following a suspicious fire in 1991 that cleared the land, Congress suspended environmental regulations to allow logging in the area. Since arson was determined to be the cause of the fire, however, environmental activists argued that allowing logging at Warner Creek would set a bad example and possibly lead to similarly motivated forest fires. What followed was an 11-month battle complete with a 79-day hunger strike and an amazing blockade of a remote mountain logging road. This inspiring documentary shows the power of direct action, determination and good leadership.
*** org www.melbournecatchm

1 december 2008

hey friends of the forests!

long time goongerah resident and east gippsland forest campaigner jill redwood has put together a short clip on the current logging of brown mountain.
please check it out & get it out there asap!

there is a small crew of committed blockaders out here who need support right now! get a car load together and come out now! camping set up at beautiful ellery creek camp ground in goongerah.
fortunately we have had over 200ml of rain in the past week, enough to slow the forces of destruction a little, but not for long.
as always, come self sufficient, & fuel up in orbost (vic) or delegate/bombala (nsw)...

there was the usual crap from v.a.f.i. (victorian assoc of forest industries) in monday's age ( "greens fail to see the wood for the trees".
these articles need to be responded to vigorously from a conservation perspective. the more letters, the bigger profile the issue.

a quick analysis of the logging history around the Brown Mtn coupes.


coupe 840-502-0020 is being logged now.

1. The red lines (Brown_mtn_coupes_GE.jpg) show the location of the coupes on GE but the image is low res. You can see the past logging.

2. When the EVC map is switched on (Brown_mtn_coupes_EVC.jpg) the cross hatched areas that are Grey,blue, pink and dark green are all past clearfell logging. Bright green is the Wet EVC forest type class not yet logged. Almost all old growth left in the bright green EVC area is marked for logging in the three coupes.

3. The (Brown_mtn_coupes_07TRP.jpg) is for reference.

So the three coupes in red that are on the current TRP are really the only forest left to be logged in the whole area not already committed for protection. But 840-502-0020 is gone So that leaves only two old growth coupes left in the whole area. There are other small bits but the three coupes are really all that is left.

if you want colour e-maps, write to this address.

for the forests

18 november 2008

ey forest crew!

brown mountain still being logged! if you can come out, contact geco on this email address for details...

walk against woodchips crew (2 adults & 6 year old) need accom & support on way into melbourne this week. contact kerry on 0458 507083 for details, even just to cheer her on!

rally against woodchipping native forests
this thursday 20 november midday parliament house steps.
come down & support the protection of our old growth forests.

benefit gig @ glasshouse 51 gipps st collingwood following rally.
east gippsland & florentine (tassie) films from 6pm, live music after.
$8/5 proceeds to campaigns...

also check out our friends at

here is the latest sinister agenda of vicforests & dse...

The Vic government by the end of this financial year will sign 15 year contracts to supply sawlogs and woodchips . Vicforests and DSE have put out a joint report that was buried on the Vicforests website, but is not on DSE website, I have attached.

The link is here under contract page. It was labelled "supplementary information" to hide it.

Under the preferred proposal by forestry, all the FMA areas are to be abolished to form two mega management areas. Tambo is combined with East Gippsland and the other FMA areas are all combine to make just two large mega areas.

From these two areas 500,000 D+ per year would be logged for the next 15 years. About 100,000 of the D+ will come from low saw log yield forests, most of it in East Gippsland foothill forests. The argument put forward by forestry is there is a need to 'obliterate' all the foothill forest that is under 60 cubs per ha D+ and regenerate it into higher sawlog yielding forests for the future.

Forestry argue that a large area of mountain forest of low sawlog yield in EG is also to be wiped out for the same reason.

This "wipe out the low sawlog yield forests to improve production" argument is not a new by foresters.

In 1981 a "Prelimina\ry Environment Report on Proposed Pulpwood Harvesting in the Otways State Forest" advocated that a woodchip industry needs to be established to make it viable to covert large areas of "over mature -mountain forests" in the Otways into productive forests.

This 1981 report put out under the Libs, caused an uproar in Geelong and the woodchip issue became a State election issue in 1982. The new Cain ALP government put a moratorium on woodchipping in 1982 but is was later overtured in 1990 by Steve Crabb when he handed out 15 year woochip licences (no controversy at the time) so this low sawlog yields forests could be economically removed.

Looks like that is about to occur again, however the latest iteration of the same arguments does not mention woodchips to avoid controversy...
please get active in this campaign now as time is running out for our forests. come visit the forest, blockade, write some letters, organise a gig, work in the geco kitchen this confest, do some wwoofing in goongerah & get to know the area, locals & issues, get creative & get the message out there! whatever positive action you can do, do it! there is no time to waste!

16 april 2008

Geco update April 2008…

Logging is continuing to devastate the remaining unprotected old growth forests of the Errinundra Plateau at Survey Road, only 30 minutes from Goongerah. A blockade was established over easter with a small crew in difficult conditions, holding the loggers out for a few days. There are 2 logging crews going hell for leather including the infamous Rodwell, who stated that he “will log the last tree in East Gippsland”, even more outrageous considering he’s not a local but from Bombala in NSW. His recent record includes Dingo Creek rainforest & Yalmy Road water catchment…see for campaign details.

“we’re baffled, brainwashed, wanna bash Bob Brown, bonk bulls, buy beer, burn books, Bombala boys are we, big on bigotry…” from legendary East Gippsland blockade song “Forest F#ckaz” on ‘Lock On!’ c.d. contact Geco for a copy of the trak…

*the Goongerah community is establishing a “Valley of the Giants” walk in an unprotected area of Brown Mountain where 2 logging coupes are scheduled. This is a spectacular old growth forest that should be added to the Errinundra National Park, but has been excluded by DSE bureaucrats who once again put logging interests ahead of conservation, climate change & water. These public servants are once again not representing the wishes of a large majority of Victorians, never mind doing the right thing by the environment. And, if they can’t log it, they burn it under their very dubious program of “fuel reduction” burns. Geco says, “fuel reduction is soil destruction!”

*who said this? “it’s about the direction for Victoria & Australia in the future. An end to native forest export woodchips, the proper protection of our high conservation value forest areas, & an industry which is based in the future on plantations. That’s what we want. That’s where the jobs are. And that’s what we’ll do when we’re in government.”
Answer: John Brumby as Opposition leader in 1995, at
Rally for Forests. View video of talk "
(Victorian National Parks Association) & check out
March 2008 Park Watch article by John Renowden “Last chance for East Gippsland’s old-growth forests.”

*DSE’s (Department of Sustainability & Environment / “Destroying Sustainable Environments / Department of Scorched Earth”) role in “mananging” our forests: just 3 of many issues that should be independently investigated: every forest policy document produced by Victorian State governments over the last 20 years has stated unequivocally that native forests are to be cut sustainably. Yet DSE has sanctioned the continuous overcutting & conversion of these forests to tree farms. Why has this been allowed? when the East Gippsland Regional Forest Agreements (RFA) was signed in 1997, DSE was obliged to develop & monitor sustainability indicators, which it has never done.
DSE was also to be responsible for conducting 5-year reviews with public input to monitor progress under the RFA. Ten years have passed & DSE has not conducted one review. Why are they not accountable?

Did you know that “logging companies clearing Australia’s old-growth forests & water catchments do not pay a single cent in tax for the diesel used in their logging operations.” (the age/businessday “Opinion & Analysis” article by Kenneth Davidson 14/04/08). Also check out latest “Dissent” magazine article by Richard Dennis, associate professor , Crawford School of Economics & Government at Australian National University for more on this topic.

Please write & encourage your friends & family also to Premier Brumby & ask his government to meet its 2006 election commitments & immediately protect significant stands of East Gippsland old-growth forest from logging, including the “Valley of the Giants” at Brown Mountain & the Mountain Ash on Yalmy Road. tel-96515000 fax-96515054

Of course, travelling out here to experience the majesty & the tragedy yourselves is probably the most important action to take! Base yourself at the peaceful Ellery Creek campground in Goongerah on the Brodribb River & go from there…it’s been more difficult since Geco’s eviction, but if you are coming out email us & we can give you the current lowdown…

Don’t just get angry, but get informed, inspired, empowered & ACTIVE!