It was with much pride that our Mirboo North Protect our Forests committee gathered at Mirboo North Pub on Sunday, December 19, 2021, to celebrate our long, challenging, but successful campaign to protect much of the last remnants of the local, overexploited South Gippsland historic “Great Forests”.

After a unanimous vote, at a huge public meeting in 2017, various sub-communities were formed of citizen activists, biologists, field naturalists and economic researchers, determined to research and overturn a VicForests determination to log much of our local, rich biodiversity forests – considered by our local community as their most precious community environmental asset.

Our four-year campaign of citizen science and research to stop the planned logging has been successful. However, negotiations must continue with government to have long-term conservation protection and sound management guidelines.

At this time of worldwide, environmental and economic crisis, citizen activism, science and research are absolutely essential to convince all levels of government and business that it is time to reassess and change our environmental and economic priorities to a more sustainable and positive future.

Act positively and celebrate our New Year 2022, with a well-considered, better environmental commitment and lifestyle.

Happy New Year.

Dick Lester, Protect our Forests member, Leongatha.