Legal battle for protection of old growth forests continues in the Supreme Court
Our good friends from the Fauna and Flora Research Collective (FFRC) are back in court on September 16th to defend East Gippsland's precious old growth forests from logging! Despite the government's supposed ban on old growth logging, old growth is still getting the chop under a new definition. The case is the only thing keeping the government accountable to protect these ancient forests.
There's still hope for the ancient forests of East Gippsland. FFRC are fighting for protection of old growth in court, and you can help. Please donate to their legal defence fund here.
Precious old growth forests in East Gippsland, still scheduled for logging
Government fights to continue old growth logging as Supreme Court trial continues
This morning, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) will defend the Government’s continued logging of old growth forests in the face of vehement community opposition, as the trial Fauna and Flora Research Collective Inc v The Secretary to DELWP and VicForests resumes in Victoria’s Supreme Court, for its final 3 days.
Fauna and Flora Research Collective (FFRC) - represented by Environmental Justice Australia - is seeking to enforce the protection of the minimum area of old-growth forest required by law across East Gippsland (60% of old growth wet and damp forest), a measure the Government has failed to implement.
An ancient tree inside the Granite Mountain coupe currently being logged.
Victorian government says old growth logging should stop
A Supreme Court case has offered a glimmer of hope for East Gippsland's old growth forests as 2018 draws to a close.
Our friends Fauna and Flora Research Collective (FFRC) are suing the state government for failing to meet their legal obligations to protect old growth forests.
This week the Vic environment department told the court that logging in ALL old growth forest should stop!
Read more here on The Guardian website
Andrews government claims old growth forest protection obligations are 'drafting error'
The Supreme court case brought by Fauna and Flora Research Collective (FFRC) against the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (Environment Department) and VicForests will proceed after the case did not settle at court-ordered mediation yesterday.
Old Growth Forests Court Case Update
Great news! Logging was set to commence in old growth forest in the Goongerah Creek catchment this summer, but it has been given a temporary reprieve as it is now the subject of the Kuark forest old growth Supreme Court Case, brought by the Flora and Fauna Research Collective (FFRC).
Support the case with a donation here
Here's the latest update from the FFRC website with about the case.
Supreme Court Injunction halts logging of old growth forest
Forest conservationists who established a blockade of old growth forest in East Gippsland are celebrating today after environment groups secured a legal injunction that has stalled the logging operation.
Controversy erupted last week when VicForests constructed a road into the forest to commence logging. Goongerah Environment Centre launched an online petition calling on Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio to step in and protect the old growth forest, the petition has so far attracted over 6500 signatures.
Lawyers from Environmental Justice Australia acting for Fauna and Flora Research Collective secured a Supreme Court injunction this morning to halt the logging arguing that the government has not protected the minimum required area of old growth forest in East Gippsland.
Vic gov allows logging in forest subject to environmental investigation
Last week we submitted reports to the Department of Environment detailing the presence of protected rainforest, a rare and protected plant and a large population of protected Yellow Belly Gliders in areas scheduled for logging in Kuark forest.
The Department confirmed they will investigate our reports, but they have allowed logging to commence before they investigate!
We reported this before logging started. Instead of issuing a direction to VicForests to not log until the investigation had taken place, the Department has allowed logging to start before they investigate.Read more
Owl habitat Court Case settles - 2000 hectares of forest to be protected!
Environment East Gippsland's (EEG) Court case concerning protection of Owl habitat reached an out of Court settlement late last week. This has resulted in 2000 hectares of forest being set aside in Owl habitat reserves. Some areas to be set aside are forests where GECO recorded Owls during surveys to collect evidence for the Court case.
While many areas of critical habitat for the Masked, Sooty and Powerful Owl remain open to logging, it's a significant victory that's taken 9 proposed logging areas off the logging schedule and placed a four year moratorium on 16 proposed logging areas. The government has also committed to increasing the size of all protected areas for owls that are below legal minimums in East Gippsland, carrying out expert research to help inform whether further protection is needed for owls and paying part of EEG's considerable costs to bring this case to court.
This Endangered Masked Owl was recorded during a GECO survey at Pikes Hill in the Kuark forest. This forest will be placed into a 500 hectare reserve to protect the Owl's habitat. Without EEG's legal action and our survey work this forest may have already been logged.