Red Gum protestors vindicated - NSW logging is illegal

Five months ago Friends of the Earth joined the Yorta Yorta people and Red Gum Forest Action in a protest that stopped logging in the Millewa State Forest for ten days. We took this step as a last resort after the NSW and Commonwealth governments refused to stop the logging despite clear evidence it was illegal.

2nd December 2009

Five months ago Friends of the Earth joined the Yorta Yorta people and Red Gum Forest Action in a protest that stopped logging in the Millewa State Forest for ten days. We took this step as a last resort after the NSW and Commonwealth governments refused to stop the logging despite clear evidence it was illegal.

In Deniliquin Local Court yesterday, three protestors arrested at the blockade were found not guilty on all charges of trespass and obstruction, upholding our claim that the logging was illegal.

The Magistrate made a clear finding on the evidence that a Part 3A approval under the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 is required for logging operations and had not been obtained. Therefore, the Magistrate concluded that the logging was unlawful,” said Ms Carmel Flint, one of the three acquitted.

This highlights an extraordinary and on-going breach of environmental law in the River Red Gum forests – logging is still occurring in these areas to this day.

Globally significant wetlands are being subject to irreparable environmental damage contrary to the law.

The finding of the court shows that Forests NSW must now get its house in order. They should cease logging operations in River Red Gum forests until such time as they obtain a proper environmental approval.

The NSW Government must now take decisive action on River Red Gum and protect large areas in National Parks.

Victoria has just created four new Red Gum National Parks whilst NSW continues to destroy theirs in breach of the most basic environmental laws, Ms Flint said.