Court or­ders halt to log­ging

Australian Forests and Timber - - In The News -

A Fed­eral Court rul­ing has or­dered a halt to log­ging in 34 ar­eas across Vic­to­ria’s Cen­tral High­lands. Friends of Lead­beat­ers Pos­sum (FLP) chal­lenged VicForests ex­emp­tion from Fed­eral en­vi­ron­ment pro­tec­tion law dur­ing the hear­ing and called for a in­terim in­junc­tion. En­vi­ron­men­tal Jus­tice Australia (EJA) filed the ap­pli­ca­tion on be­half of FLP.

The case be­ing brought by FLP will chal­lenge whether log­ging in en­dan­gered species habi­tat can con­tinue to have a spe­cial ex­emp­tion from Fed­eral en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion law.

“Fol­low­ing court pro­ceed­ings on 17 Novem­ber, VicForests has con­sented to de­lay har­vest­ing in four op­er­a­tions un­til a fur­ther hear­ing can be held on 14 and 15 De­cem­ber which will pro­vide the Friends of Lead­beater’s Pos­sum an op­por­tu­nity to put its case in more de­tail,” said Nathan Trushell, VicForests CEO.

“Th­ese four op­er­a­tions are part of 34 coupes we have agreed to sus­pend un­til the fur­ther hear­ing.

“We be­lieve our op­er­a­tions are in ac­cor­dance with the Cen­tral High­lands Re­gional For­est Agree­ments (RFAs)

“We look for­ward to the court clar­i­fy­ing obli­ga­tions in re­gards to this.

“We are keen to see the le­gal mat­ter re­solved as quickly as pos­si­ble to min­imise dis­rup­tion of timber sup­ply to lo­cal mills and to im­por­tant re­gional jobs,” said Mr Trushell.

Mr Trushell said that the na­tive timber in­dus­try in the Cen­tral High­lands con­trib­utes more than $570 Mil­lion in eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity each year and em­ploys more than two thou­sand peo­ple.

VicForests is a highly reg­u­lated or­gan­i­sa­tion and un­der­goes reg­u­lar au­dits in all ar­eas of it op­er­a­tions. VicForests is cer­ti­fied by the Aus­tralian Forestry Stan­dard which is en­dorsed by the world’s largest for­est cer­ti­fi­ca­tion scheme, PEFC.

■ Nathan Trushell.

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