Environment East Gippsland has taken the bold move to sue the Victorian government's logging monopoly, VicForests in a bid to save what remains of Brown Mountains old growth and rare wildlife.
In September 2009, this group's application for an interim injunction to stop the planned logging of old growth forests on Brown Mountain was granted.
The main case will be heard in March 2010 and is set down to run for ten days.
EEG is using the government's own laws written to protect rare and endangered wildlife to have them and their habitat protected. The Long-footed Potoroo, Sooty Owl, Powerful Owl, Spiny Crayfish, Spot-tailed Quoll and high densities of arboreal mammals like Greater Gliders have been identified in these forests. Many other areas of similar high value forest have also been destroyed over the years without regard to threatened species, but Brown Mountain was the line in the sand that is being used as the test case.
This legal action is likely to cost over $150,000 and EEG is needing to raise funds urgently to begin paying the bills. Expert witnesses are currently being engaged to survey the area and write reports for the court hearing.
The legal team believes we have a very strong case and if we win, it could alter the way forests are managed in Victoria.