10 May 2018
The Federal Court has granted an injunction to prevent logging in five areas that are home to Greater Gliders in Victoria’s central highlands, including in a controversial coupe near Noojee, while the Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum v VicForests case proceeds to trial over the next year.
“We are pleased that the threatened Greater Gliders are safe from the chainsaws while this case is being heard,” said Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum president Steve Meacher.
Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum is being represented in court by Environmental Justice Australia.
“This injunction gives some certainty for the threatened species in these areas and for the many people who love Victoria’s unique native forests,” said EJA lawyer Danya Jacobs.
“We’ll be hard at work over the coming months as this important case proceeds to trial,” she said.
In this case Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum is challenging whether logging in certain areas of endangered species habitat can continue to have a special exemption from Australia’s national threatened species law.
In March the Court found the Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) for the Central Highlands does exempt logging from Federal threatened species law – despite non-compliance with terms in the RFA that require five-year reviews – but importantly the Court found non-compliance with other terms in the RFA may remove that exemption.
Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum alleges those terms are not being complied with, including that VicForests failed to identify and protect Leadbeater’s Possums, Greater Gliders and their habitat.
The proceeding is listed for a three-week trial to commence on 25 February 2019, with a directions hearing on Tuesday 15 May 2018 to set a timetable for the rest of the case.
Case to challenge logging’s exemption from Fed environment law (15 November 2017)