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VicForests is a Government Backed Enterprise (GBE) operating in the Australian state of Victoria. It was created - as a state body under Section 14 of the State Owned Enterprises Act 1992 - by the Victorian Government, being declared a state business corporation on 18 October 2003.VicForest has a single sole shareholder, the treasurer of Victoria Tim Pallas. Its principal function is to undertake the logging and commercial sale of native forests in Victoria.
VicForests has attracted criticism from environmentalists for the destruction of old-growth forests in Victoria for paper and wood products. During 2010 VicForests was accused of illegally logging large numbers of trees aged between 200 and 300 years old. The Age obtained a report by forestry consultants commissioned by the Treasury under freedom of information laws in 2011. The report was highly critical of VicForests and found the organisation was logging too much and at an unsustainable rate. It also found VicForests had a large and growing backlog of planting work. In 2013, David Lindenmayer, Professor at The Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University wrote that "By any scientific yardstick, forestry operations in Victoria cannot be regarded as ecologically sustainable". He criticised ongoing losses of old-growth forests which is habitat for the critically endangered Leadbeater's possum.
In June 2017, a dead koala was discovered amongst trees felled by VicForests in the Acheron Valley, habitat for several critically endangered animals. The Victorian Government had ignored advice from their scientific advisers who had recommended protecting the area.
- Morton, Adam (28 June 2010). "VicForests accused of felling old-growth mountain ash". The Age. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
- Butler, Ben (22 February 2011). "VicForests operations condemned". The Age. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
- Lindenmayer, David. "Victorian forestry is definitely not ecologically sustainable". The Conversation. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
- Tomazin, Farrah (25 June 2017). "Dead koala found in logging coupe reignites push for new protected national park". The Age. Retrieved 5 April 2019.