HOME Contact: turbidwater@hotmail.com Search: search tips sitemap

Nooramunga Marine and Wildlife Reserve

Albert River Catchment Degradation

Poor catchment management upstream of Marine Reserves can cause serious consequences downstream.

Extensive pine plantations totalling thousands of hectares were established in South Gippsland throughout the 1960's, 1970's and 1980's. Most of these plantations were 'sold' to the US based John Hancock Financial Services by the Kennett Government in 1998. In the above map, reproduced with permission from Friends of the Earth, one can see the extent of the pine plantations draining into Nooramunga in the bottom half section of the map. Catchments of most concern are the Little Albert River, Albert River and Jack River, which all drain into Nooramunga near Alberton.

For information about Hancock's activities in the Nooramunga Marine Reserve Catchment please visit Hancock Watch. The Following pages show images from logging in catchments that drain into Nooramunga

Late 2000 Albert River Catchment May 2002 Albert River Catchment
December 2003 Albert River Catchment January 2005 Albert/Jack River Catchments
April 2005 Albert/Jack River Catchments October 2005: Albert River Catchment
April 2007: Little Albert River Catchment

The following photos reveal poor plantation standards in South Gippsland. Hundreds, if not thousands of tonnes of soil can be mobilised into drainage lines during and after logging operations. Green groups led by the Wilderness Society, The Greens and the Australian Conservation Foundation still promote plantation forestry argueing that it is an ecologically sustainable industry. This view is naive and promulgates the view that plantation operators are responsible corporate citizens.

This particular plantation is located in the Parish of Devon, about 20km west of Yarram in the Jack River catchment. About 40 hectares of the plantation was logged in 2004, with alot of wet weather logging occuring. The plantation is also surrounded by Hancock plantations to the east and north. More of this plantation will probably be logged in 2005 meaning the logging road in the following photos will be heavily used adding to the erosion problems now occurring. Remedial action is urgently required. The responsible authority for making sure that plantation companies abide by logging rules (Code of Forest Practice) is in this case the local Wellington Shire - based in Sale (about 90km away).

Jack River flows into the Albert River near Alberton West. Sedimentation of streams can kill native fish. Plantations are often sprayed after logging by helicopter with herbicides.

1. Jan 05: Culvert leading under road to direct water into gully. However the poorly formed drain is blocked with a boulder and rocks in an attempt to stop water flowing past the culvert. As can be seen by the water behind the boulder, this exercise is a fruitless exercise, as water has simply seeped under the boulder.

2. Jan 05: Tributary of the Jack River, showing soil and rocks bulldozed in order to widen logging road.

3. Jan 05: Large amounts of sediment have already washed into this tributary. Large rainfall events will most likely wash more sediment into the gully and potentially into the Jack River. Poorly formed logging roads are a major cause of creek sedimentation.

4. Jan 05: Slumping and collapsing road batters add to the erosion potential of logging roads.

5. Jan 05: More slumping soil ready to wash into Jack River tributary. Logging debris bulldozed off road.

6. Jan 05: Another view of the sediment being washed down into this gully from a poorly maintained logging road and clearfelling of pine plantations on highly erodable cretaceous sediments. Same gully as shown in Photo 3.

7. Jan 05: A view of the logging road eroding into the gully where photo 6 was also taken. Note erosion fissures opening up above culvert.

8. Jan 05: Same gully. Note collapsing road batters extending along almost all the road..

9. Jan 05: Another tributary of the Jack River. This photo shows a large amount of soil generated by a logging 'snig' track puched through the road batter. This has created a large erosion scour, with large volumes of soil already eroding into this tributary of the Jack River.

10. Jan 05: Further along the logging road, more dislodged soil ready to wash away. Also note the collapsing road batter.

11. Jan 05: Culvert has been dug under very poorly formed logging road and water is already scouring dislodged soil further down the gully line. This site has a very high erosion potenial.

12. Jan 05: Same gully as Photo 11. Note erosion scouring of logging road in an area of the road which has not been culverted. This reveals very poor drainage standards, allowing vast amounts of sediment to wash from the road surface.. This operation is probably illegal as it is in breach of the Code of Forest Practices.

13. Jan 05: Poorly formed logging road, with very high erosion potenial. How long has this situation existed for?

14. Jan 05: Slumping batters and a very shabby logging road.

15. Jan 05: Logging debris, including logs, rocks and soil, cast into tributary of Jack River.

16. Jan 05: Obvious signs of wet weather work on this logging road from hell. Private forestry is basically unregulated and uncontrolled. Otherwise how else would this scenario unfold?

17. Jan 05: Another photo of a sustainable plantation located on Cretaceous Sediments.

18: Logging debris bulldozed into Jack River tributary.