Court upholds public interest in Brown Mountain forest proceedings

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Supreme Court today refused VicForests' application for up to $163,000 in security from a small environment group. VicForests was asking for this sum to be secured before a court injunction is granted to stop logging on Brown Mountain.

"If EEG had been required to pay such a large sum of money, it could have stifled an important piece of public interest litigation", said EEG spokesperson Jill Redwood.

"This is a groundbreaking decision because no Victorian court has ever ordered an injunction on logging before. It is also a groundbreaking case because it is the first time that the Supreme Court has been asked to order a party in a public interest case to pay security of this type".

"The judgment says 'this is an exceptional case', and that if logging was allowed to go ahead before the trial, there is 'a genuine risk' that the Potoroo habitat may be destroyed", said Ms Redwood.

Justice Forrest said that the relevant laws "demonstrate the clear legislative intent that protecting threatened or endangered species such as the Potoroo is particularly important".

"We feel vindicated by this decision today and look forward to having the case heard for the protection of the forests and rare wildlife on Brown Mountain", said Ms Redwood.

 

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