Reports | 30th Nov, 2021

After the Logging: Failing to regrow Victoria's native forests

Governments justify native forest logging by promising that they “regrow” or “regenerate” the forests “like for like”. This promise underpins the Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) signed by the Commonwealth and Victoria. It is used to justify exempting native forest logging from federal environment laws.

This report presents new evidence that contradicts these claims, exposing for the first time how Victoria’s state logging agency is failing to regrow forests – despite its claims to be doing so.

VicForests claims that fewer than 15% of logged coupes fail to regenerate within three years at “first attempt”. In fact, this three-year benchmark applies not to forests but to eucalypt seedlings, and the failure rate is 30%, twice what VicForests claims. In Mountain Ash forests, the failure rate is over 50%.

The report finds:

  • A third of logging coupes are failing to regenerate within three years, double the amount VicForests publicly claims.
  • In Mountain Ash forests, half of logging coupes are failing to regenerate within three years.
  • Even logging coupes that have passed the test for successful regeneration are failing to grow into forests. Ground checks and drone footage reveal some forests have been turned into weed-infested wastelands of blackberry and bracken, and others into thickets of wattle not eucalypts.

You can read or download the full report below.

Download the report Download the appendices