As a result of arrests at the Dingo Creek rainforest coupe last Autumn, two protesters are challenging the charge of ‘obstructing a lawful logging operation’.
The case has been heard for two days so far and the last session is on January 18th at Bairnsdale. The public are welcome to attend. The NRE have made some startling admissions while giving prosecuting evidence, including;
- that the person who planned the coupe, had no idea what the habitat requirements of the Powerful Owl, or other species are even though the species are known to occur in the coupe.
- that the field officers were instructed to disregard the Special Management Zone (SMZ) guidelines, and NOT to do any “special planning required to protect rainforest values”.
- that an area identified by scientists as a “National Biological Site of Significance” for rainforest has been in one place marked as a “filter strip”, with no buffer. In other places, it was not even recognised as rainforest, and so planned for logging.
What is apparent from the NRE’s own evidence is that consideration of threatened species is ignored at coupe planning level and that the RFA places reliance on the coupe management, while the coupe planning dismisses responsibility back to the RFA!
The NRE Officers involved have all been apprehensive about being cross-examined on the witness stand are are now much less willing to make arrests.
Destruction of rainforest has been going on for years – and there’s not a shred of other forest offered as compensation for NRE destroying protected ecosystems.
Tony / Jill