August 12. 2010
Court Win: Landmark Logging Ban for Threatened Species
1pm, Parliament House, Melbourne, Action calling for Government response.
Friends of the Earth (FoE) welcomes the landmark decision by the Victorian Supreme Court yesterday, that upheld the ban preventing logging at Brown Mountain in the state's far east under an injunction.
In the Brown Mountain case, local environment group, Environment East Gippsland (EEG), demonstrated the gross inadequacies of Victoriaâ€™s pre-logging flora and fauna surveys, capturing video footage of the endangered Long Footed Potoroo in an area of Brown Mountain scheduled for logging, just hours after the state government declared that surveys of the area had found no threatened species, and that logging would proceed.
Logging was due to start at the site last September but it was halted under injunction when EEG took the case to the Supreme Court, until the outcome of the trial, which took place in March.
Yesterdayâ€™s judgment found the area to be critical habitat for the potoroo and other threatened species, the greater gliders and yellow-bellied gliders, the spot-tailed quoll and two species of endangered frogs, the giant burrowing frog and the large brown tree frog.
Justice Robert Osborn imposed wildlife survey requirements on state-owned logging agency, Vicforests, and also ordered special protection zones and "habitat retention" areas be created at Brown Mountain, in Far East Gippsland. Ms Redwood said if the surveys ordered by Justice Osborn were carried out correctly then endangered species would certainly be uncovered in areas scheduled for logging.
â€œIf we hadnâ€™t sued VicForests, Brown Mountain would have been illegally logged by now, and Brown Mountain is just one area. The government is logging publicly owned forests every day without endangered species surveys,â€ said Environment East GippslandÂ spokesperson, Jill Redwood.
Conservationists will gather at Parliament House at 1pm today, calling on the state government to respond to the landmark court decision.
â€œWe are calling on the government to respect the judgment by stopping logging in native forests that may contain rare wildlife, until the full implications of this judgment are examined.â€
â€œThis is now the lead case on the precautionary principle in Australia,â€ said FoE forest campaigner, Lauren Caulfield. â€œVicforestsÂ and the Victorian Government have proven that they fail to meet their own wildlife protection laws, and that existing logging regimes threaten the survival of rare wildlife.â€
For more information please call:
Jill Redwood (EEG): 0427 906 961
Vanessa Bleyer (Solicitor for EEG): 0412 586 848
Lauren Caulfield (FoE): 0408 748 939