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Gippsland

Macquarie Bank and Midway Plantations Pty Ltd

New Plantations stalled since 2009 - clearfelled 2016

May 31 2016: Mineral Sand Mine Proposed

More to come?

Rough outline of proposed "Titanium and Zircon"sand mine by Kalbar Resources. Proposed mine site will take in approximately 150 hectares of Hancock pine and 216 hectares of Bluegum plantation land established by the now defunct MIS company Great Southern. In August 2012 the assets of Great Southern were gobbled up by Alberta Management Investment Corporation and New Forests Australia.

Mineral Sands mining near South West Victorian town of Harrow

FoE Press Release May 30 2016

Maryvale Mill Increases Reliance on Native Forest

New hardwood plantation development in Gippsland stalled in 2009 with the collapse of several MIS companies. As a result only 7,000 ha of new hardwood plantations were established. This was only 35% of what was required for the new Bleached Pulp Facility.

Oct 08: Stockdale Region Central Gippsland. Existing Hancock pine plantations highlighted in purple. Hardwood plantations established by Macquarie Bank and Great Southern Plantations marked in yellow. Plantings in this region slowed considerably in 2008.

June 2016: Bluegum Clearing near Fernbank

June 2016: Bluegum plantation about to be logged near Fernbank

June 2016: Midway/Macquarie Bluegum plantation logged near Fernbank

June 2016: Bluegum plantation end of the road.

April 6 2011: Rip 'Em Out. Tree Plantations Are Returned to Farmland

Aug 7 2009: Macpunter cash gets sucked into vortex

Apr 08:Rio Finds Zircon in Victoria (plantations smokescreen?)

Sep 07: map of new plantings here

Sep 07: Plantation Objections from a Local Gippsland Perspective

September 2008: Midway/Macquarie bluegum plantations 'dieing off' near Stratford. Who is the investor losing money on this plantation? Do they even know?

September 2008: Providence Ponds/Perry River. Filthy stagnant water. Hundreds of hectares of plantations have been established just upstream from this location in the past couple of years, decreasing flows.

October 2008: Planting out of ~100ha of Bluegum plantations by Great Southern Plantations 13km east of Lindenow. Great Southern established ~150ha of bluegums in the Stratford area in 2008 and have announced that they will not be planting any more plantations in Gippsland over the next year. Midway/Macquarie have established nothing in the region in 2008, meaning that shortfalls on their planting regimes are starting to occur. Midway/Macquarie were supposed to plant out 2000ha per year until the year 2017 in order for the Maryvale Pulp Mill to be sufficient in plantations by 2019. Up to 2007 this target was being met, but has dropped off significantly in 2008.

Great Southern had been focussing mainly on the Giffard and Woodside regions where growth rates have been very poor. By 2007, Great Southern had 3752.8ha of plantations (mainly bluegum and some shining gum) estbalished in Gippsland after 2005. By late 2007 Midway had established ~3400ha in Gippsland. Probably meaning 7000ha new plantations have been established by both companies in Gippsland since 2005. Therefore the 2000ha/yr new plantations figure is currently being met only if you take into account both Macquarie/Midway and Great Southern Plantations.

Great Southern stops Gippsland land purchases ABC Radio Wed Sep 10, 2008

The Great Southern Plantation company has put its land purchase program in Gippsland on hold. The company has been using invested money to buy farming and other properties in Gippsland to plant blue gums. Dry weather conditions in the Woodside and Giffard area south of Sale have killed a number of new plantings this year. But David Ikin from Great Southern says the decision to stop buying property is based on the downturn in the general economy. "We are buying less land this coming year and that is a normal cycle, it is a very cyclical business when you're in the investment business. You have good years and bad years and the past year, no secret, it was disappointing for us," he said.

September 2007: Fernbank Church on the northwest side of town. Plantations about 200m away.

Ensay region was also being targeted (Midway Macquarie backdown from Ensay Plantation Establishment)

Sandy Creek catchment near Reedy Creek East Gippsland. The cleared farmland in the photo was going to be planted out with bluegums, however East Gippsland Shire put several permit conditions on the development and Midways/Macquarie have now backed down from establishing plantations in this dubious location, approximately 200km from the Maryvale pulp mill.

For more details of this plantation back down go here and here.

East Gippsland Shire Council Minutes 4 March 2008

Recommendation

That Council:

(a) being the Responsible Authority and having considered all the relevant planning matters, determines that planning application 329/2007/P is consistent with the requirements and objectives of the East Gippsland Planning Scheme and therefore resolves to issue a Notice of Decision to Grant a Permit for Timber production at 1119 Buchan-Ensay Road, Reedy Creek, in accordance with the endorsed plans and subject to the following conditions:-

1. Before the development starts, amended plans to the satisfaction of the responsible authority must be submitted to and approved by the responsible authority. When approved, the plans will be endorsed and will then form part of the permit. The plans must be drawn with dimensions and two copies must be provided. The plans must be generally in accordance with the plans submitted with the plans submitted with the application but modified in line with the recommendations of the approved Cultural Heritage Management Plan (AAV project number 10078), dated 29 November 2007, being:.

*The introduction of a 5 metre diameter buffer to site 8423-0048 (WP14).

*An increase in the buffer to Sandy Creek, at site 8423-0052 (WP18).

2. This permit will expire if one of the following circumstances applies:

* The development and use is not started within two years of the date of this permit; or

*The development is not completed within four years of the date of this permit.

3. All retained native vegetation, including paddock trees, must be protected from damage with a minimum 5 metre buffer measured from the canopy edge.

4. Retained native vegetation must be protected from damage to the crown, stem and roots at all times during plantation establishment, maintenance and harvesting operations.

5. All plantation establishment, maintenance and harvesting operations must comply with the Code of Forest Practice for Timber Production (2007) and to the satisfaction of the responsible authority.

6. During plantation establishment, maintenance and harvesting operations, adequate steps must be taken to stop soil erosion and the movement of sediment off site and into drainage lines and watercourses and onto adjoining Crown land. Adequate steps include:

a) Control of on-site drainage by intercepting and redirecting run-off in a controlled manner to stablised vegetated areas on site.

b) Installation of sediment control structures such as sediment basins, sediment fences and sediment traps when construction commences and maintaining them until the site is stablised.

c) Re-vegetating all disturbed areas as quickly as possible or within 14 days after construction works are completed.

7. No planting or vegetation removal is to occur within any road reserves, including unmade road reserves, unless otherwise approved in writing by Crown Land Management, Department of Sustainability and Environment.

8. Prior to the commencement of works, including establishment of the plantation, the applicant must designate specific access routes for heavy vehicles. Designated routes must be used for all access to and from the site for all heavy vehicles. No other access routes may be used.

9. Prior to the commencement of all plantation, logging and harvesting operations, the applicant must arrange a mutually convenient time for a joint site inspection of all proposed access routes with a Council officer and an authorised representative. The inspection will include a visual examination to determine existing pavement and drainage conditions of the proposed access route and may include video and photographic recording. At the completion of each stage of operations (establishment of plantation, harvesting etc) the applicant will be responsible for all costs associated with the upgrading and repair as necessary to reinstate all access roads to the existing condition prior to the commencement of operations.

10. Appropriate silt and sediment traps, where required, should be established prior to the commencement of works to maintain runoff and reduce sediment from the site. Rehabilitation and seeding of the site should be undertaken after harvesting to the satisfaction of the responsible authority.

11. Temporary debris and sediment control measures must be installed to prevent debris and sediment from entering Council's drainage system during all construction stages. Pollution prevention measures, must be in accordance with the Environmental Protection Authority's Publication Number 275 "Construction Techniques for Sediment Pollution Control".

12. The permit hoder must, at its cost, arrange and submit an independent audit of the plantation operation to the responsible authority annually to demonstrate compliance with the Code of Practice for Timber Production and conditions contained in this permit, to the satisfaction of the responsible authority. Any non-compliance must be immediately reported to the responsible authority in writing and rectified to the satisfaction of the responsible authority.

13. The development authorised by this permit must be undertaken in accordance with the Code of Practice for Timber Production and State Environment Protection Policy (Waters of Victoria). Without limitation, the permit holder must ensure that buffers along any permanent drainage lines or waterways are maintained in accordance with the requirements of the Code of Practice for Timber Production, to the satisfaction of the responsible authority.

14. If the layout of the development approved by this permit is to be amended in a manner that could conflict with the recommendations of the approved Cultural Heritage Management Plan, an amendment to that layout will only be permitted if the permit holder provides a planning assessment report demonstrating consistency with the approved Cultural Heritage Management Plan.

b) Informs the head petitioner in relation to its decision on planning permit application 329/2007/P, for a Timber Plantation at 1119 Buchan-Ensay Road, Reddy Creek

THAT COUNCIL BEING THE RESPONSIBLE AUTHORITY AND HAVING CONSIDERED ALL THE RELEVANT PLANNING MATTERS, DETERMINES THAT PLANNING APPLICATION 329/2007/P IS NOT CONSISTENT WITH THE REQUIREMENTS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE EAST GIPPSLAND PLANNING SCHEME AND THEREFORE RESOLVES TO ISSUE A REFUSAL TO GRANT A PERMIT FOR TIMBER PRODUCTION AT 1119 BUCHAN-ENSAY ROAD, REEDY CREEK, SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING GROUNDS:-

1. THAT THE PROPOSAL IS INCONSISTENT WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE EAST GIPPSLAND PLANNING SCHEME, AND IN PARTICULAR THE PLANTATION DEVELOPMENT POLICY (CLAUSE 22.13) IN THAT THE PLANTATION WILL HAVE:

* AN ADVERSE IMPACT UPON THE COMMUNITY AND SURROUNDING LANDOWNERS, AND

*AN ADVERSE IMPACT ON ENVIRONMENTAL AND LANDSCAPE VALUES, PARTICULARLY AS THAT RELATES TO WATER; AND

*IS AN INAPPROPRIATE USE OF AGRICULTURAL LAND IN THE REEDY CREEK AREA.

Carried 4/3/08

 

September 2007: Plantations are being targeted at the Ensay Region by Macquarie/Midway. This seems to be an extremely long distance from the Maryvale Pulp Mill (~400km round trip), with the Ensay plantations being approximately double the distance from the mill, as those currently being established near Fernbank (~170km round trip). What are the Greenhouse Implications and future fuel costs of transporting plantation logs all of those distances?

Bluegums Bulldozed at Briag Gippsland Times Article 24/5/07 here.

The rare geological formation known as "The Providence Ponds" - a 'chain of ponds' linking this waterway together forms a tributary of the Perry River. Much of this 'chain of ponds is now threatened bluegum plantations. "The name Providence Ponds probably accurately describes the Perry River which is a series of irregularly spaced oval to round deep pools with either no interconnecting channel or with a small capacity, well vegetated connecting depression." (Erskine et al 1990)

April 2007: Shape of things to come? About 15km west of where Macquarie Bank and Midway are establishing bluegum plantations, another plantation company, Hancock Victorian Plantations, has been busy ripping up hundreds of hectares of failed 10 year old + bluegum plantations in the Avon River Catchment. These bluegum plantations were originally established by APM for hardwood for the Maryvale pulp mill. These plantations were grown on very similar geology to the plantations that Macquarie are also planting (Marine limestone, sandstone, minor marl (Seaspray Group) grading laterally and upwards into non-marine gravel, sand, silt, minor clay (Sale Groupin part)). For more information also see here.

More on Midway Plantations Pty Ltd

September 2007

Sep 06: Macquarie Bank, Great Southern Plantations and Midway buying up land bigtime near Boolarra and Mirboo (Strzelecki Ranges) and Giffard region (South Gippsland) - More information here.

Fernbank community upset about Midway bluegum plantation, 7 Feb, 2006

East Gippsland farmers worried, 4 April, 2006

Gum plantations 'pushing farmers out', 12 May 2006

Gippsland Times Bluegums bulldozed at Briag, 24 April 2007

Failed Bluegums torn out, 13 June 2007

Midway and Macquarie Bank are working with the PaperlinX owned pulp mill at Maryvale to establish 20,000 hectares of bluegum in Gippsland in the next decade.

Google Earth image - circa April 2001: Most of the farmland in this image has been converted to bluegum plantations from 2005 onwards. The pine plantations seen in this image are owned by Grand Ridge Plantations Pty Ltd and were originally established by A.P.M. (Australian Paper Manufacturers) in the 1970's.

September 07 Plantation Map

September 2007: The Perry River catchment, showing Hancock pine plantations (marked with H), Midway/Macquarie Plantations (in yellow) GS stands for Great Southern. All of the Midway/Macquarie plantations were planted in 2005/7. Hancock plantations cover about 7000 hectares, with Midway/Macquarie/GS covering 4200 hectares. Plantations now also spreading westward into Blackall Creek/Avon river catchment

February 2006: Perry River catchment - outlined in blue.

Midway are currently targeting farmland in the Stockdale region of East/Central Gippsland. This is the Perry River/Providence Ponds catchment which flows into Lake Wellington. On February 2, 2006 over 100 people met at Fernbank to discuss issues relating to bluegum conversion of local farmland. Approximately 2500 hectares of farmland has been converted by Macquarie Bank/Midways in 2005 in the region. One plantation is located less than 200 metres from the community of Fernbank (about 30km west of Bairnsdale).

Approximate location of new Gippsland bluegum push by Macquarie in 2005/6 Perry River Catchment (yellow mark above) and Boolarra/Mirboo regions 2006 Strzelecki Ranges (red mark above).

Much of the new plantation land appears to be owned by Macquarie Bank Limited and is then leased to Macquarie Alternative Assets Management Limited for a period of between 15-16 years. Midways Plantations Pty Ltd then establish and manage the plantations. What happens after the lease is concluded is anyone's guess. Mining rights perhaps?

Macquarie Alternative Assets Management Limited are a wholly owned subsidiary of Macquarie Bank Limited. As of May 2006 Macquarie are in turn owned by; Deutsche Securities Australia Ltd (100% of Macquaries' Non-Cumulative Redeemable Preference Shares), with the following companies owning ordinary shares with the bulk being owned by the first five companies listed; 1. Westpac Custodian Nominees Limited, 2. National Nominees Limited, 3. J.P. Morgan Nominees Australia Ltd, 4. Citicorp Nominees Pty Ltd, 5. ANZ Nominees Ltd, HSBC Custody Nominees (Australia) Limited, Cogent Nominees Pty Ltd, Commonwealth Custodial Services Limited, RBC Dexia Investor Services Australia, Queensland Investment Corporation, Argo Investments Limited, AMP Life Limited, ING Life Limited, MLC Limited, The National Mutual Life Association of Australasia, IAG Nominees Pty Ltd, I.O.O.F. Investment Management Limited, Government Superannuation Office National Nominees Limited State Super Fund.

Feb 06: Recent conversion of farmland near Stockdale. Midway are ripping the soil at least 5 feet deep across contour lines. These rows then make it very difficult for rain to percolate down slopes and into local creeks and rivers. The plantations will act as giant 'sponge's retaining most rainfall and are also likely to retain most groundwater as well, as when the young trees grow they suck up water retained in the soil. Within a few years streamflows will most likely be decreased by over 100mm+. Soils in the area can be very sandy meaning high likelihood of pesticides leaching into groundwater. Could it be that plantation companies are deliberately targeting the properties located in the upper reaches of catchments? Once the plantations get growing, neighbouring downstream farms will find it difficult to keep running due to lack of water, meaning that in time they will also be forced to sell to plantation companies.

Feb 06: Recent conversion of farmland near Stockdale. US owned Hancock Victorian Plantations already have about 7000 hectares of pine plantations in the local area.

Feb 06: A common scene in southern Victoria thesedays are bluegum plantations. Midway and Macquarie Bank are working with the PaperlinX owned pulp mill at Maryvale to establish 20,000 hectares of bluegum in Gippsland in the next decade.

ABC Rural Report Gippsland Victoria: Tuesday 7 February, 2006

Fernbank community upset about Midway bluegum plantation

Last week a community meeting was held at Fernbank near Bairnsdale to discuss the environmental effects of a recently-established bluegum plantation. Plantation company Midway - acting through Macquarie Bank - established eleven hundred hectares of plantations at Fernbank seven months ago. Midway plans for wood supplied by the plantation to be used in paper production in the LaTrobe Valley.

Last night, representatives from Midway faced a barrage of questions and criticism at a meeting at Fernbank. Fernbank resident Peter Drummond says he's concerned his neighbours will leave the area and the social damage to the community will be irreparable. Mr Drummond says he knows of 14 local farms that have been bought out for plantations. Mr Drummond says at least ten families have moved out of the area. Rob Grant from Bairnsdale is worried about "the loss of flow into the Perry system." Fernbank farmer John White is concerned about restricting water flow. Fernbank farmer Lionel Rose is worried about excessive chemical use and properties being surrounded by trees and becoming fire traps.

Midway representatives said they would not make a comment for air on the program this morning. However they say their projects will generate employment in Fernbank. Midway also says Greening Australia has been assisting them managing the protection of native vegetation near Fernbank. Bluegums pose serious environmental risk, says sustainable farming advocate Fernbank residents are not alone in their concerns. Monaro farmer Robert Belcher has been researching the long-term environmental impacts of bluegum plantations. He addressed a community meeting at Fernbank last week. Mr Belcher says the concerns being raised at Fernbank is something he has seen in rural communities many times before. He dismissed claims by CEO Timber of Plantation Australia Phil Townsend that bluegum plantations have no environmental impacts. Mr Belcher says relationships between the timber industries and rural communities can start out being harmonious but often the rural community ends up losing out. He says a timber plantation has "as much biodiversity as a supermarket carpark." Mr Belcher admits he is not new to the bluegum debate and claims "I'm probably responsible for half a dozen spin doctors getting a job."

Independent MP urges caution on plantations Independent Member for Gippsland East Craig Ingram says the State Government needs to monitor where bluegum plantations are located. Mr Ingram says that given the right area, plantations can have a positive environmental impact. However Mr Ingram says its not the first time he has seen large community groups upset by plantation projects. Mr Ingram says he has concerns about the impacts on water flows and the increased fire risk. He says the State Government is not doing enough to consider "how we really want Gippsland to look in 20 years time."

ABC Rural Report Gippsland Victoria: Tuesday 4 April, 2006

East Gippsland farmers worried

As farmers look to the sky for the autumn break this month, many will be wondering if the rain that falls will bring much water for their farms. In East Gippsland, as with many other areas across the state, it's been pretty dry over the past few years, putting pressure on farmers and communities. But with the growth of blue gum plantations in the south-east, farmers are worried that the trees will soak up the water before it can flow onto the rivers and streams.

Rob Grant from the East Gippsland Collective Water Utilisation Group says due to the increased vegetation and deep ripping techniques used in timber plantations, any water that falls in the area will soak into the ground. He says timber plantation companies shouldn't be given tax incentives as this will only increase the amount of trees planted in the area. And although the last few years have been very dry, Mr Grant says the reduced water run-off is not a direct result of the drought.

The Coordinator of Environment East Gippsland, Jill Redwood, says that water is a major issue for a lot of people and plantations are impacting on farmers, environmentalists as well as the people living in towns. She believes that plantations are soaking up water that should go into catchments and streams and this ultimately impacts on the aquatic environment in these waterways.

Dairy farmer Anne Garland from East Gippsland agrees that the plantations decrease the amount of water run off into creeks and onto farms. Ms Garland says the problems faced by the people in the communities as a result of the plantations far outweighs any benefits the plantations may bring to a community.

Professor Roger Grayson from Melbourne University's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering says worldwide studies have shown that plantations do soak up more water than grasslands. He also says that the amount of water that runs off the timber plantation will vary considerably depending on how hard the rain is falling at the time. When the ABC contacted Wilmott forests, a plantation company, they put us in contact with John Turner from For Sci, a private research consulting company that provides technical advice to timber companies. He says more water will be absorbed by timber plantations but this is the same as native forests. He says plantation companies have to stick to guidelines if and when a plantation is to go in. These guidelines are in place to make sure the plantations will not impact on native vegetation or put in areas that are unsuitable.

Mr Turner believes that the drought has more of an impact on water flows than timber plantations do. An adviser to Midway Plantations and Macquarie Forestry, Craig Taylor, says that scientific evidence shows that the amount of water lost to timber plantations is relatively small. He denies that timber plantation companies don't care about farmers and communities that surround timber plantations.

ABC News Online Friday, 12 May 2006. 11:45 (AEDT)

Gum plantations 'pushing farmers out'

Gippsland real estate agents have confirmed blue gum plantations between Sale and Bairnsdale are pushing up the price of farming land. Farmers in the Munro Stockdale area say the influx of plantations is pushing farmers out of the district, and making land prices unrealistic. The plantation industry says it is good for farmers hoping to retire on the proceeds of their land sales.

Sale real estate agent Charles Rintoul says land values in those areas have risen up to 60 per cent in the past two years. "Properties that are 1,000 acres, 1,200 acres are farming property and probably two years ago they were worth $700, $750 an acre," he said. "At the moment we're seeing only because of the blue gums seeing them make up to $1,100, $1,200 an acre."

Gippsland Times 24/5/07 Bluegums bulldozed at Briag

BRIAGOLONG: A land use researcher has warned investors considering managed investment schemes involving bluegum plantations to be cautious following the bulldozing of 250 hectares of failed plantation near Briagolong.

The Macquarie Bank has sown huge areas in bluegums elsewhere in the Perry River catchment through its plantation arm, Midway Plantations.

Friends of the Earth land researcher Anthony Amis questioned the logic behind planting in an area where crops 12 years old had failed. "With all these managed investment schemes, the investors could be burnt," Mr Amis said.

"Looking at the massive failure of bluegum ... when the Maquarie plantations are due they could fail as well. "Landholders are worried about managed investment schemes buying farmland - if the plantations fail we've had a loss (for the region) all round."

Grand Ridge general manager Owen Trumper confirmed the company had bulldozed bluegums because of poor growth. However he claimed factors other than low rainfall may have contributed to the crop failure. "There's no doubt the drought may have had an influence, but it's not 100 per cent of the reason," Mr Trumper said.

"We have (bulldozed plantation near Briagolong) but (Midway) have a different planting strategy, slightly different sites with slightly different soils."

Collective Water Utilisation Group Gippsland chair Rob Grant warned plantations around Briagolong, Munro and Stockdale were using water which flowed underground and therefore wasn't seen.

Prior to white settlement many areas which are now planted out had been open woodland with far less trees using far less water, he said. Such plantations therefore had a "huge impact" on stream flow, Mr Grant added.

The Maquarie Bank did not return calls from the Gippsland Times regarding Midway Plantations and its activity in the local area.

The Weekly Times June 13, 2007 p26

Failed gums torn out by Fiona Allen

Hundreds of hectares of blue gums planted in Gippsland are being bulldozed because they have stopped growing.

It is unsure why the older plantation crops have failed but a number of factors could be to blame, including the drought or unsuitable soil types.

The result has raised questions about the viability and future of blue gums in the region where plantation companies are rapidly buying land.

Melbourne-based landuse researcher Anthony Amis, of Friends of the Earth, said so far 250ha of failed blue gums, planted in the past 17 years, had been bulldozed at Briagolong but he predicted thousands more hectares would also go. “The trees grew really well for five years and then nothing,” he said. “They have been a massive failure. “It is a warning for other areas. If these ones planted in the 1990s failed, will the same happen again?”

Hancock Victorian Plantations spokesman Owen Trumper confirmed several hundred hectares of blue gums in the company’s Gippsland plantations had failed and were bulldozed.

Mr Trumper said the land would go to pine. “Do we know exactly why they stopped growing? No. All we know is a result,” he said. “Our assessment is that the last seven or eight years of drought combined with soil type and the establishment techniques used for blue gums haven’t been successful. “We had to make a decision to convert it into a site that would generate fibre for future customers.”

Mr Trumper said pine represented 75 per cent of the company’s business and hardwood 25 per cent, including 10,000 ha of blue gums spread from Trafalgar to Stockdale.

The soil type at Briagolong is the same as in the Perry River catchment, where Macquarie Bank’s plantation arm, Midway, has sown large amounts of blue gums.

Mr Amis, who maps and monitors plantations across the state, estimated 50 to 70 per cent of blue gum plantations were not growing as well as expected. He said it was believed growth rates in the Perry River catchment had already been disappointing. “Investors in these managed investment schemes aren’t being told they are investing in a risky development,” he said.

“The plantation companies should be writing growth rates down in annual reports.”

Macquarie Bank was unavailable to comment on the issue when contacted by The Weekly Times.

Mirboo & Boolarra Strzelecki Ranges

December 2006: Plantation development in the Boolarra region of Gippsland/Strzelecki Ranges. New plantations established by Macquarie Bank and Midway in 2006 are highlighted with M. H stands for existing Hancock pine and hardwood plantations. The new 200ha of new Midway plantations have been established just outside the domestic water supply for the town of Boolarra

August 2006 - Strzelecki Ranges: New plantations (Great Southern Plantations?) pushing into Clear Creek catchment south of Boolarra South. This site has been recently contour ploughed and sprayed with herbicide to kill off unwanted pasture. Probably allotment 118 Parish of Mirboo. This site is also domestic water supply (Tarwin River) for the South Gippsland town of Meeniyan. Rumours are that up to 11,000 hectares of land in this region has already been earmarked for plantation development in the next few years.

August 2006 Strzelecki Ranges: More allotments in the Parish of Mirboo succumbing to the plantation industry.

August 2006 Strzelecki Ranges: Widespread application of herbicides in the domestic water supply for Meeniyan. Parish of Mirboo. Such landuse is supported by Greening Australia.

September 2006 Strzelecki Ranges: Allotment 23, Parish of Mirboo. More farming land going under for Macquarie Bank bluegum plantations. This plantation (over 100 hectares in size) is located in the Walkley Creek catchment. Walkley Creek provides drinking water to the community of Boolarra, however almost all of this plantation is located just outside of the water supply offtake.

September 2006-Strzeecki Ranges: Another view of Walkley Creek, just east of the offtake to Boolarra's water supply. Walkley Creek water supply is bound to come under pressure to be sold to the plantation industry in the near future.

January 2007: More spraying has recently occurred in this plantation located in Walkely Creek.

Jan 07: ditto

September 2007

September 2007: No buffers on this temporary wetland. Simazine, a herbicide used on bluegum plantations, chemically castrates amphibians at 0.1 parts per billion.

September 2007: Creek crossing for Honeysuckle Creek

September 2007: Honeysuckle Creek, a tributary of the Perry River.

ditto. How will new plantations improve this problem?

September 2007: Blocked culvert Honeysuckle Creek.

September 2007: Dead Tortoise Honeysuckle Creek.

September 2007: Honeysuckle Creek. Plantation proponents often say that plantations improve water quality. How will they improve this situation? It will be business as usual.

September 2007: Buffers on Honeysuckle Creek near the Headwaters. Almost the entire length of this creek is now under bluegums and radiata pine.

September 2007: Pasture wipeout Gippsland - heavily sprayed, most likely with Glyphosate.

September 2007: Sandy Creek headwaters in the Perry River catchment. 300 hectares of bluegum have been established on this property in the past month. This will decrease flows into the catchment by an average of 300ML per year.