The mammoth David and Goliath battle which first began in 2017 has finally reached its conclusion.
In August 2020, The Federal Court delivered final orders for our historic win for Friends of the Leadbeater’s Possum that protects the forests subject to the case from logging!
Although the judge’s verdict was handed down in this case back in May, the final orders decided how the judgement would apply practically.
The final orders
Justice Mortimer’s orders grant final injunctions to protect the 66 areas of forest home to the threatened Greater Glider and critically endangered Leadbeater’s Possum subject to the case.
The judge also made formal declarations of unlawful logging by VicForests in those 66 areas and ordered VicForests pay Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum’s costs of running the case. This sets a national precedent which will have national implications for species threatened by logging under Regional Forest Agreements across the country which will now face much greater scrutiny.
“We are immensely grateful to the public for the donations that have enabled us to pay the costs of mounting a case on this scale and to all those who have worked on the case and supported us in so many ways on this long and challenging journey. And to the surveying team from WOTCH and the expert witnesses who provided an unassailable body of detailed evidence.” – Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum
This is the first time the Federal Court has granted a final injunction to prevent logging of threatened wildlife habitat and the first time Victoria’s logging industry – the largest in Australia – has been held to account under federal environment law for its devastating impacts on endangered wildlife.
The outcome of this case demonstrates that properly enforcing our environment laws is critical to stem the loss of wildlife in this country.
We are so thrilled that the Greater Glider and Leadbeater’s Possum in these areas of forest can rest easy for now – protecting these areas of habitat is vital to their recovery.
We hope this is a message to all industry and governments across the country that if they flout the law at the expense of our threatened wildlife, the community will hold them to account in court.
Read the judgment summary or full judgment.