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.
The case is listed for a directions hearing on 18 June 2018.
The Fauna and Flora Research Collective is arguing that the Environment Department is failing to meet its legal obligations to protect old growth forest in East Gippsland. The FFRC argue the law requires 60% of wet and damp old growth forest present in 1995 to be reserved but the protection quota has not been met, and until it has further logging should not proceed in these old growth forests.
The Environment Department and VicForests are defending the case.
Court documents filed by the Environment Department claim these laws do not impose any mandatory requirements on it to protect old growth forest, and that a rule to reserve 60% of old growth present in 1995 is the “result of a drafting error”.
Thirty-four areas of old growth forest that are earmarked for logging are subject to the legal proceedings. The controversial “Princess Cut” coupe off Greens Road in the Kuark area was the site of community protests in October 2017 which ended after the Supreme Court granted an injunction to halt the logging pending the outcome of the case.
VicForests has given an undertaking not to log in the 33 other old growth forest areas without first providing seven days notice to the FFRC. If the government win the case it will pave the way for their logging agency VicForests to log the 34 areas of old growth forest.
- Statement of Claim (24 11 17)
- DELWP Defence (17 1 18)
- Reply to First Defendant’s Defence_filed (2 2 18)
- VF Defence (18 01 12)
- Reply to Second Defendant’s Defence_filed (2 2 18)
- Amended Statement of Claim (20 3 18)
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