Council to advocate for cessation of logging at Snob Creek

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At its Scheduled Meeting of Council on Wednesday 24 February, Murrindindi Shire Council resolved to request VicForests to immediately cease logging in several coupes at Snobs Creek due to its concerns about the adverse impacts of the logging on the environment and on tourism visitation to the area.

In 2017 Council adopted a Statement of the Management of Central Highlands Forests, calling on the Victorian Government to phase out current native timber harvesting activities in the Central Highlands Forest in Murrindindi Shire.

Since then, the Victorian Government has announced the phasing out of native timber harvesting by 2030, however logging in the Central Highlands has increased through the Rubicon Valley and is now being conducted in the Snobs Creek area, with logging trucks using Snobs Creek Road as a major access to logging coupes.

The specific coupes Council is concerned about are Washboard, Dry Cleaner, Curious George, Gulmarg, Laundry, Dry Spell, Hills Hoist, Kinabalu and Lucifer. These coupes, upstream of the Snobs Creek Falls, represent an area of mixed species timber and wetlands in a temperate forest. The area has survived fires of the last century and is one of the last remaining in Murrindindi Shire with this diversity and maturity of forest.

Council is concerned that the logging works currently underway are having significant adverse impacts on the environment. The proposed buffers provide little protection for what remanent undisturbed bush may remain, with disturbed soil from the works likely to wash into Snobs Creek with the first rains, polluting the waterway.

The broader region around Snobs Creek Falls has natural beauty and is a significant tourism attraction, where many visitors each year can appreciate and learn about the value of a healthy and diverse natural environment, amongst some of the oldest forest and preserved ecosystems still remaining in the Shire. In contrast to other tourism areas, over 78% of all visitors come to this area to connect with its natural beauty. Council is concerned this could all be lost with the current logging being undertaken in the above coupes.

Council understands the angst and uncertainty that the logging transition creates for some in our community and recognise the importance of working with all interested groups and government agencies to work towards a sustainable future.

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