Victoria’s tall montane ash and mixed species forests in the Central Highlands provide some of the last remaining habitat for the critically endangered Leadbeater’s Possum and the vulnerable Greater Glider. These tiny, nocturnal possums need the tall canopies and deep hollows of old-growth eucalypts to survive.
But right now the Victorian government (VicForests) is logging their habitat and driving these fragile creatures closer to extinction. We urgently need to stop logging in their habitat before we lose these precious creatures forever.
Federal Court case
Almost one year ago, representing Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum, we took VicForests to Federal Court to stop the destruction of precious habitat for the Leady and the Glider. We won a temporary ban to keep the bulldozers out – but the ban is only temporary while the case goes to Court. We return to the Federal Court on 3 June for a three week trial. The Court will hear experts and legal submissions, and our barristers will cross examine VicForests witnesses about their logging and its impact on threatened species.
Acting on behalf of Friends of the Leadbeater’s Possum, we’re asking for a Federal Court order to stop logging in 41 forest coupes in Victoria’s Central Highlands that are home to Greater Gliders and Leadbeater’s Possums. We’re also asking the court to protect additional forests to mitigate for 26 sites we allege were unlawfully logged in the past. If we win this case, we can stop logging in these critical areas of the Leadbeater’s and Greater Glider’s habitat and help save them from extinction.
This situation isn’t limited to Victoria. Logging is continuing in threatened species habitat while Regional Forests Agreements (RFAs) between state and federal governments are in place across the country.
RFAs have meant that logging agencies don’t play by the rules of our national environment laws – they continue to bulldoze the homes of threatened species that are meant to be protected. No other industry has this kind of exemption. Not even mining. In the 20 years these Regional Forest Agreements have been in place, logging has pushed iconic Australian species like the Swift Parrot, Leadbeater’s Possum, the Koala and the Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo closer to extinction. If we win this case, we’ll set a national precedent that could change the way our forests are managed nationally and have a huge, positive outcome for the wildlife we love.