Win for native forests in Victoria!

EDO: “Great news for forests and wildlife!  

This week the Victorian Government announced it will end native forest logging in the State by the end of this year.

This is a crucial win for nature and people. Native forests are vital habitat for threatened wildlife, they clean the air we breathe, and are critical in absorbing carbon and protecting us against climate change.

Australia’s forests have been unnecessarily logged to make products like toilet paper and power poles for too long. 

Our congratulations and appreciation go to Environmental Justice Australia, Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum, WOTCH, Environment East Gippsland, Kinglake Friends of Forest, and all those who have campaigned so hard for many years for this outcome.

Now we must increase protection of all native forests in Australia.  

With Western Australia the only other state committed to end native forest logging, our forests are still being wiped out at an alarming rate.

Right now in NSW, it’s reported that Forestry Corporation has plans over the next year to log 30,813 hectares of 175,000 hectares of state forests that fall into the proposed Great National Koala Park – including areas identified as the most critical koala habitat in NSW.

Scientists predict koalas will go extinct in NSW by 2050, yet their habitat is still being bulldozed for paper and power poles. 

The laws that regulate logging are failing our unique and endangered wildlife.

That’s why in March last year we appeared before the Federal Court in the first ever legal challenge to a NSW Regional Forest Agreement – the outdated laws that allow native forest logging to avoid Federal assessment.

In 2018, the Commonwealth Government waved through a 20-plus year extension of native forest logging under the North East NSW RFA to avoid the costs of conducting a proper assessment.

The RFA renewal was totally inadequate in assessing how the landscape has changed in the 20 years since the RFA was first agreed, the current ecological values of the area, and new risks from climate change and other factors.

We have known for years that as the climate changes, fires will follow. And yet, the North East RFA was renewed without assessing how climate change will impact the health and resilience of our native forest ecosystems.

On behalf of our client, NEFA, we argued that the Federal Government failed to assess the state of those NSW native forests before locking in at least another 20 years of logging.

Right now we’re awaiting a decision on our legal challenge to the NSW North East Regional Forest Agreement.”

Andrew Kwan

Managing Lawyer, Environmental Defenders Office