community concern over tree clearing turns to protest

August 17: This morning, residents from Kinglake and surrounding areas held a community protest to draw public attention to the unnecessary logging and removal of native trees and vegetation in the Kinglake Ranges by contractors working for the Murrindindi Shire.

August 17: This morning, residents from Kinglake and surrounding areas held a community protest to draw public attention to the unnecessary logging and removal of native trees and vegetation in the Kinglake Ranges by contractors working for the Murrindindi Shire.

Starting at 6am, community members displayed banners and placards, handed out leaflets, and talked with people walking and driving by. The mood was friendly and relaxed (although cold, at least until the sun came out) and, judging by the waves, smiles and comments, most people were clearly supportive. This action has resulted from a growing sense of frustration at the lack of response to widespread community concern about over clearing of vegetation after the devastating fires of early 2009.

The call out to the community presence states "we have lost so much already - please help us save the precious and remaining undamaged native trees and vegetation we have left. A healthy and regenerating environment provides us with hope."

The community presence will continue during the day.

Organisers are asking the community to express its concern at over clearing by calling Murrindindi Council on 5772 0333.

UPDATE as at August 24, 2009: KANDO (Kinglake Action Network & Development Organisation) informs us that Murrindindi Council has agreed to site visits to areas with local residents, and has hosted a meeting with relevant authorities and communities to begin to resolve the problems.

This is a heartening development.

There is background information available here:

[below: images from Kinglake, August 17]