Ron Brown is pleading with HPV to abandon its plans to harvest a 30 year old plantation which has become a sanctuary for wildlife. N013115

Ron Brown is pleading with HPV to abandon its plans to harvest a 30 year old plantation which has become a sanctuary for wildlife. N013115

SUSTAINED campaigning by environmental campaigner Ron Brown appears unlikely to save 30 year-old trees at Turtons Creek.
Thirty years ago, Mr Brown convinced Hancocks to plant trees in a random manner.
The result now is a bush-like forest with understory, wildlife and added ambience along the drive to the Turtons Creek falls, a tourism attraction.
Turtons Creek is also home to the threatened Gippsland Spiny Crayfish and Greater Gliders.
Mr Brown called for HVP to abandon its claim over the area, instead leaving the land to nature for wildlife, tourism values, to avoid erosion and to retain the water catchment.
“Why can’t they leave this limited, lovely regrowth, animal habitat alone even if it does mean losing a few sticks,” Mr Brown said.
“Someone should bring pressure to bear on Hancocks [HVP] and explain to them that they have a responsibility for more than profits.
“The wildlife needs, the tourism potential, and the supply of water into the east branch of the Tarwin River is critically important.”
Mr Brown claimed at a recent council meeting that HVP could not “in good conscience” adhere to the Code of Practice for Timber Production 2014, which he waved around, while harvesting the area.
He claimed HVP would be breaching the code’s principles:
• Biological diversity and the ecological characteristics of native flora and fauna within forests are maintained;
• The ecologically sustainable long-term timber harvesting capacity of forests managed for timber harvesting is maintained or enhanced;
• Forest ecosystem health and vitality is monitored and managed to reduce pest and weed impacts;
• Soul and water assets within forests are conserved. River health is maintained or improved; and
• Cultural heritage values within forests are protected and respected.
General Manager for HVP Gippsland Simon Gatt confirmed the company is planning how it will harvest the wood.
“Where we have previously harvested along Turtons Creek land, we have kept a 60m buffer, and replanted with native species,” Mr Gatt said.
“That’s our inclination as to how we would approach this newest area.
“But, we are now looking a providing a bit more of a buffer – of around 100m wide, along the length which is not quite a kilometre, about 600m, along the creek.
“The intention is that visitors to the area won’t be able to see our operations.”
Mr Gatt said once harvesting is completed, the area will be replanted with pine and eucalypts including blue gum, messmate and mountain ash.
Harvesting this summer is expected to take a number of weeks.