2020 UPDATE: We head back to court on 14 December next week! We’ll make our final arguments in our 3 year legal battle for old growth forest protection! The government said they’d protect old growth forests but they’re still under threat from logging. You can help to ensure they’re properly protected. Please donate
The Secretary to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, the first defendant, reopened the case for a further trial that began on 5 and 6 November 2020 and will have it’s final few days heard next week starting on Monday 14 December 2020.
In November our legal team cross examined the Environment Department’s witnesses and next week we will hear from Mr Stephen Mueck, an expert forest ecologist called by FFRC and hear our closing arguments.
Please read on below for a more detailed update on our case and the many twists and challenges we have faced. Thankfully, at every turn, with every new hearing, we have received the generous support and donations we have needed to put forward the best defence for our old growth forests. Please help us clear this final hurdle as we head in to next weeks trial.
Thank you once again!
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)
Thanks for your support!