In a landmark decision today, the Supreme Court has found that the government has a responsibility to look for and protect endangered wildlife before logging in the contentious Brown Mountain forests of East Gippsland.
This judgment has implications for all native forests that are set to be destroyed by logging,” said EEG spokesperson Jill Redwood.
Reflex is made from ripping down the beautiful ash forests of the Central Highlands, Melbourne’s water catchments and the home of the endangered state faunal emblem, the Leadbeaters Possum. The Wilderness Society and other enviro groups have been trying to negotiate a win-win outcome with the makers of Reflex paper for the last five years.
The Brumby government snuck out a media release at 7pm on Tuesday 10th November 2009. What was in it that they didn't want the media to make a big deal about? It was about the area of old growth that it had promised to protect 3 years ago - but much reduced. There is now 5,000 ha less than the original offer. It also cut out the intact stands of old growth at Ferntree Creek and Big River. How did they do this and still claim to protect even more? They protected areas that were already protected but under a different name.
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.
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.
Landmark court case could alter forest management for rare wildlife
On Tuesday 25th August 2009 Environment East Gippsland commenced proceedings against VicForests in the Supreme Court of Victoria asking the Court for a permanent injunction to stop VicForests from logging Brown Mountain. We are also asking the Court to declare that the logging of Brown Mountain is unlawful.