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An environmental group, headed by former Greens candidates, has celebrated the destruction of a local woodchip mill after it was set ablaze by out of control bushfires on the NSW south coast.

The group, Environment East Gippsland (EEG), published a Facebook post on Monday, showing the Eden Woodchip Mill on fire along with a caption celebrating the devastation.

“YESSS!!! In all this horrific loss – some really good news!” the group wrote. “The Eden Chipmill is burning down – all buildings and infrastructure as well as the woodchip pile.”

Hours later, after the group had received a barrage of complaints, the post was edited in an attempt to tone down their elation.

“The Eden woodchip mill is burning,” the updated post read. “This is very symbolic. The writing was on the wall for this mill.”

One user responded to the post saying, “Instead of hiding behind this groups name why don’t you post it under your name with your face? Or even better drive to Eden and say it to a person who is now out of a job because of this and see the reaction you receive you spineless oxygen thief.”

Liz Ingham, a “former long-time staffer to former Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber” and EEG Public Officer, responded to the comment from her personal account saying, “Hi!”

Ms Ingham stood as a candidate for the Australian Greens Party in the Legislative Council Region of Western Metropolitan at the Victorian state election, which was held on 25 November 2006.

The group, which is also headed by former Greens candidate Jill Redwood, eventually deleted the post. When asked why it had been removed, the page admin claimed they were receiving “more than the usual number of death threats.”

Ms Redwood stood as a candidate for the Australian Greens Party in the Legislative Council Region of Eastern Victoria at the Victorian state election, which was held on 25 November 2006.

Shortly after the post was deleted, screenshots began to circulate on social media, along with a screen capture from Ms Redwood’s personal account after she had allegedly posted the exact same celebratory message.

Screenshots circulating on social media.

Locals from the small community expressed outrage at the group for celebrating the destruction of the mill, which is the largest employer of the town of 3,000.

Malcolm McComb, the operator of the mill, told The Australian, “Seventy people are employed directly by the mill and 600 in the forestry industry in the greater region.”

The extent of the damaged caused by the blaze is still unknown as the site is currently too unsafe to assess.


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