Victorian Supreme Court throws out litigation against VicForests
On 10 November 2021, the Victorian Supreme Court threw out litigation from Kinglake Friends of the Forest Inc v. VicForests. The Victorian Forest Products Association (VFPA) welcomes yesterday’s ruling, which provides greater clarity for our native forest industry.
Justice Richards dismissed the case one hour into the hearing. The decision was based on the recently announced amendments to the Timber Code of Practice, which clarified ambiguities introduced in the 2014 version of the Code and its supporting Management Standards and Procedures.
With the case dismissed and associated injunctions removed, VicForests can commence harvesting in the affected coupes once the Code comes into force on 17 November 2021.
“Post-harvest surveys have shown that VicForests’ harvesting and regeneration practices better protect Victoria’s wildlife while providing our community with the wood and fibre products we need. Species, including the critically endangered Leadbeater’s Possum and Greater Glider, are now commonly found immediately within or around harvest areas within a few short years after harvest,” said Deb Kerr, CEO of VFPA.
“Foresters are passionate about their work and carefully balance the production of timber with the protection of wildlife in our multiple-use forests. This active and adaptive management approach is critical to the plants and animals in our forests.”
“With yesterday’s decision, VFPA calls on the remaining green lawfare cases before the courts to seriously contemplate the wisdom of pursuing these further,” concluded Ms Kerr.
PDF version available here.