Syliva Creek Court Case to Prevent Logging in Toolangi State Forest, Victoria, Australia

"Please consider the environment before printing this case"; because that ultra white high quality Reflex paper has a cost for Australian forests and their people.


Description
Mountain Ash forests and the Leadbeater's possum have existed for tens of millions of years, but in the last few decades, fire and logging have caused the forest ecosystem to be at risk and the possum critically endangered [1, 2]. Conflict has arisen between people wanting to protect the forest for a range of reasons including conservation, ecological services and tourism, and those who want to extract forest resources, in particular, the state's forestry industry.
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Basic Data
NameSyliva Creek Court Case to Prevent Logging in Toolangi State Forest, Victoria, Australia
CountryAustralia
ProvinceVictoria
SiteToolangi State Forest
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Logging and non timber extraction
Specific CommoditiesTimber
Cellulose
Project Details and Actors
Project Details
For the 2013/14 Financial Year, VicForests reported:
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Project Area (in hectares)26000 (estimate of Toolangi State Forest)
Level of Investment (in USD)TBA
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected PopulationResidents of Toolangi and Healesville, native forestry jobs
Start Date01/07/2011
Company Names or State EnterprisesNippon Paper Industries Co. Ltd from Japan - Nippon owns Australian Paper, which makes Reflex paper, and is the largest domestic purchaser of pulp from Victoria's native forests
VicForests from Australia - VicForests is responsible for the sustainable harvest, regrowing and commercial sale of timber from public forests on behalf of the Victorian Government.
Australian Paper - Australian Paper, maker of Reflex, is the largest domestic purchaser of pulplogs from Victoria's native forests.
Relevant government actorsKey Departments with relationships with VicForests:

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Department of Treasury and Finance

Regional Development Victoria

Department of Premier and Cabinet
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersMy Environment, Friends of the Leadbeater's Possum, Central Highlands Action Group, The Wilderness Society, Great Forest National Park and 30 supporter organisations including The Greens political party.
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingLocal ejos
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Trade unions
Women
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
Toolangi is the traditional land of the Taungurong and Woiworung (known as Wurrundjeri) peoples
Forms of MobilizationAppeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Blockades
Boycotts of companies-products
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Development of a network/collective action
Public campaigns
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Street protest/marches
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of alternative proposals
Official complaint letters and petitions
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Fires, Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Air pollution, Soil erosion, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Potential: Accidents, Occupational disease and accidents
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Other socio-economic impacts, Increase in violence and crime
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (failure for environmental justice)
Strengthening of participation
Application of existing regulations
There is a campaign for a Great Forest National Park, including Toolangi State Forest, and the most recent announcement by the current Labor State Government, Environment Minister Lisa Neville, was that she hopes the National Park will be established in this term of government (from approx 2014/2018). The government is holding a taskforce to come to a consensus about conversation and logging including environment groups and the CFMEU (Construction, Forestry Mining and Energy Union) [27].
Development of AlternativesThe primary proposal at the moment is to establish a Great Forest National Park, which has been put forward by the organisation of the same name and supported by environmental NGOs, The Greens political party, individuals and companies [17].

Existing plantation forest has been proposed as an alternative and VicForests and Australian Paper have both acknowledged that there is enough plantation forest to meet demand. The Wilderness Society has promoted this acknowledgement [30].
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Logging continues in the Toolangi State Forest.
Sources and Materials
References

[1] Lindenmayer, D., (2013), “Why Victoria needs a Giant Forest National Park” [online], Park Watch, No. 255, Dec 2013, pp.16-17, Availability: http://search.informit.com.au.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/documentSummary;dn=771593895351276;res=IELHSS, ISSN: 1324-4361, [cited 17 Mar 15]
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[2] Lindenmayer D.B., Hobbs, R.J., Likens, G.E., Krebs, C.J., Banks, S.C., 2011. Newly discovered landscape traps produce regime shifts in wet forests. PNAS. 108, 38

[14] Lindenmayer, D., (2003), “Integrating wildlife conservation and wood production in Victorian Montane ash forests”, in Towards Forest Sustainability, edited by Lindenmayer, B. and Franklin, J. F., CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Victoria

[15] Feller, E., (2013), “Kalatha Giant Tree Boardwalk opens” [online], Park Watch, No. 255, Dec 2013: p.17, Availability: http://search.informit.com.au.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/documentSummary;dn=771612528322535;res=IELHSS, ISSN: 1324-4361, [cited 17 Mar 15]
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[11] Keith, H., Mackey, B.G., Lindenmayer, D., (2009), “Re-evaluation of forest biomass carbon stocks and lessons from the world's most carbon-dense forests”, PNAS, July 14 2009, vol. 106 no. 28, pp. 11635–11640

[5] Hattan, Z., (2012), “Forest protests” [online], Arena Magazine (Fitzroy, Vic), No. 120, Oct/Nov 2012, pp.11-13, Availability: http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=341712615919006;res=IELHSS, ISSN: 1039-1010, [cited 18 Mar 15]
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[4] Poyry Management Consulting, (2011), VicForests and Australian Paper. Review of Issues affecting the Transition of Victoria's Hardwood Processing Industry from Native Forest to Plantations, [online], http://www.onpaper.com.au/media/912105/Poyry_Hardwood-Industry-Transition-Review-of-Issues-Final-Report-050911-1-.pdf, [cited 25 May 2015]
[click to view]

[16] Rees, S., (2014), “A new national park” [online], Interaction, Vol. 42, No. 4, Dec 2014. pp.8-12, Availability: http://search.informit.com.au.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/documentSummary;dn=776222132814300;res=IELHSS, ISSN: 0310-7949, [cited 17 Mar 15]
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Links

[3] VicForests, “Our Organisation” [online], VicForests website, Availability: http://www.vicforests.com.au/our-organisation, [cited 6 May 2015]
[click to view]

[9] [The Wilderness Society, “Producing Reflex paper from native forests impacts our climate, water and wildlife” [online], The Wilderness Society Website, Availability: http://www.ethicalpaper.com.au/logging, [cited 6 May 2015]
[click to view]

[17] Great Forest National Park, (2014), “Supporters” [online], Great Forest National Park website, Availability: http://www.greatforestnationalpark.com.au/supporters.html, [cited 6 May 2015]
[click to view]

[18] Morton, A, (2011), “Loggers, activists clash over forests”, The Age [online], 17 August 2011, Availability: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/loggers-activists-clash-over-forest-20110816-1iwew.html, [cited 6 May 2015]
[click to view]

[19] DeBono, M, (2011), “Protesters call for halt to logging at Toolangi” [online], ABC News website, 17 August 2011, Availability: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-17/wilderness-society-calls-for-end-to-old-growth-forest-logging/2843314, [cited 6 May 2015]
[click to view]

[22] Australian Broadcasting Corporation, (2011), “Court bid to halt logging at Sylvia Creek” [online], ABC News website, 24 August 2011, Availability: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-24/court-bid-to-halt-logging-at-sylvia-creek/2853700, [cited 6 May 2015]
[click to view]

[23] Paul, M, (2011), “Court orders temporary logging injunction” [online], ABC News website, 25 August 2011, Availability: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-25/forest-injunction-granted/2855164, [cited 6 May 2015]
[click to view]

[24] Farnsworth, S, (2012), “Toolangi logging threatens rare possum, court told” [online], ABC News website, 6 February 2012, Availability: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-06/toolangi-logging-threatens-rare-possum2c-court-told/3813806, [cited 6 May 2015]
[click to view]

[25] Australian Broadcasting Corporation, (2011), “Court extends Sylvia Creek logging injunction” [online], ABC News website, 19 September 2011, Availability: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-09-19/court-extends-sylvia-creek-logging-injunction/2905978, [cited 6 May 2015]
[click to view]

[26] Croggon, N, (2012), “Why the Toolangi case was so important” [online], My Environment Website, 15 May 2012, Availability: http://www.myenvironment.net.au/index.php/me/Work/Legal/Save-Sylvia-Appeal/Environment-Defenders-Office-Summary, [cited 6 May]
[click to view]

[10] Zoos Victoria, Zoos Victoria’s 20 Priority Species. Leadbeater’s Possum [online], Availability: http://www.zoo.org.au/sites/default/files/leadbeaters-possum-priority-species.pdf, [cited 6 May 2015]
[click to view]

[13] The Wilderness Society, (2014), Toolangi State Forest – Self-Drive Map [online], Availability: http://wilderness.org.au/articles/lifting-veil-secrecy-logging-operations-toolangi, [cited 6 May 2015]
[click to view]

[12] Great Forest National Park, (2014), “Traditional Owners” [online], Great Forest National Park website, Availability: http://www.greatforestnationalpark.com.au, [cited 6 May 2015]
[click to view]

[27] Tomazin, F, (2015), "Minister flags new national park within this term to save the possum", [online], The Age website, http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/minister-flags-new-national-park-within-this-term-to-save-the-possum-20150502-1mydgl.html, [cited 25 May 2015]
[click to view]

[8] VicForests, (2015), "Media Release. VicForests to postpone FSC audit", [online], VicForests website, http://www.vicforests.com.au/files/bbrmfkxlhj/VicForests-to-postpone-FSC-audit-(May--15).pdf, [cited 25 May 2015]
[click to view]

[29] Steinke, N, (2013), "The Story of Paper" [online], ABC Radio National website, 25 March 2013, Availability: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/360/the-story-of-paper/4592650, [cited 7 May 2015]
[click to view]

[30] The Wilderness Society, (2014), Reject Paper Sourced From Native Forests, [online], The Wilderness Society website, https://www.wilderness.org.au/reject-paper-sourced-native-forests, [cited 25 May 2015]
[click to view]

[6] Campbell, J., (2014), VicForests in middle of battle over possums and timber, [online], The Herald Sun website, http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/vicforests-in-middle-of-battle-over-possums-and-timber/story-fni0fh8t-1226834677129, [cited 25 May 2015]
[click to view]

[21] My Environment, "Save Sylvia, Supreme Court Case", [online], My Environment website, http://www.myenvironment.net.au/index.php/me/Work/Legal/Save-Sylvia-Supreme-Court-Case, [cited 25 May 2015]
[click to view]

[20] The Wilderness Society, (2014), The ‘Sylvia Creek’ court case — looking back, [online], The Wilderness Society website, http://wilderness.org.au/articles/%E2%80%98sylvia-creek%E2%80%99-court-case-%E2%80%94-looking-back, [cited 25 May 2015]
[click to view]

[28] The Wilderness Society, (2013), "Victorians owed at least $61million for the logging of public forests, including areas of Leadbeater’s Possum habitat", [online], The Wilderness Society website, https://www.wilderness.org.au/victorians-owed-least-61million-logging-public-forests-including-areas-leadbeater%E2%80%99s-possum-habitat, [cited 25 May 2015]
[click to view]

[7] VicForests, (2014), "Annual Report 2013/14", [online], VicForests website, http://www.vicforests.com.au/files/ltxvtyegqp/VicForests-Annual-Report-2014_web-version.pdf, [cited 25 May 2015]
[click to view]

Other Documents

Protest at the forest against logging Source: http://www.habitatadvocate.com.au/?p=6544
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorLisa de Kleyn, PhD Student, RMIT University, [email protected]
Last update26/05/2015
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