The last tranche of logs felled on a private property at Whian Whian were removed this morning even though the landholder who owns the private road they had to pass through had withdrawn permission for them to use it.
Echonetdaily understands that the owner of the road, has formally signed a recanting of the consent to allow them to use his land.
But it came too late as the loggers left the property with seven loaded trucks.
Whian Whian Forest Alliance spokesperson Patrick Tatam said that they appeared to have left with the remainder of the felled logs.
He added that the EPA ‘is proving very, very weak kneed’.
Mr Tatam said he was under the impression that there were no plans to further log the area.
Early this morning, seven jinkers (logging trucks) under police escort started removing the remainder of some 100 logs that have been felled at a private property at Whian Whian which had been blockaded by environmental protectors.
Mr Tatam said that at around 6.30am this morning, up to eight police vehicles (including police rescue, tactical response group and six vans) turned up, escorting a number of loggers’ utes as well as the jinkers.
Mr Tatam, who described the mood of the police as ‘take no prisoners’, told Echonetdaily that a senior police officer overseeing the operation said Forestry had been ‘advised by EPA that the habitat and koala surveys done to date were not worthy of further consideration, and that the loggers had the right to go in and remove all felled logs’.
Mr Tatam told Echonetdaily this morning that the logging removal was well underway and that the removal was causing further environmental destruction.
‘They have been crossing and re-crossing the creek at the entrance to the property with a heavy ‘caterpillar track’ (these tracks are filthy, and full of debris, seeds, oil etc),’ he said.
He added workers had ‘busted our barricade with the caterpillar tractor, cracked up the soil around the creek and our only water supply is now completely muddied’.
‘They are now going to take those seven jinker trucks back and forth all day. Heaven knows how much more damage will be done to the road and thin concrete culverts along Whian Whian Road.’
He said police had ‘threatened to arrest anyone standing in their way. They also point out that we do not have a legal leg to stand on, now that the EPA has given them the “green light”.’
‘This whole operation is clearly now a bench test of the modus operandi to be utilised by this state government, in order to fulfil their lagging lumber delivery contractual commitments, and to line the pockets of a few land-owners with a few fast bucks. The fact that we’re dealing with non-resident, urban-based owners who are hand in glove with a head butting, bloody minded government makes it all the worse.’