“Today our Foundation has lodged a special leave application for the High Court to hear an appeal against the Federal Court ruling in the Great Forest Case. While we are not guaranteed an appeal hearing in the High Court, we believe this case is of major public importance, dealing with a matter of national environmental significance and deserves to be considered by the nation’s final court of appeal.
We are determined to continue the fight for the protection of Tasmania’s wildlife-rich native forests. If we ultimately win in the High Court, the Great Forest Case will have far-reaching potential to protect native forests across Australia,” Jenny Weber said.
“The Federal Court decision went against us with the court ruling that the purpose of the Regional Forest Agreement Act was not to protect the environment. The Federal Court ruled that the protection of Tasmania’s forests and wildlife was ensured by the Forest Practices Code and other policies, which are written by the Tasmanian Government. However, these policies are not legally enforceable, and the court found that there is no need for them to be so. This means that there are no enforceable laws that are protecting threatened species’ habitat from destruction,” Jenny Weber said.
“The Federal Government’s own statutory review of the EPBC Act by Graeme Samuel’s found that the RFAs are not protecting our environment. Graeme Samuel recommended a complete overhaul of the Regional Forest agreements. This shows just how important our case is, as the RFAs are not protecting threatened species like the Critically Endangered Swift Parrot, which is facing extinction due to habitat loss from logging,” Jenny Weber said.
“We know there are no guarantees of success in our case reaching the High Court, or of winning if the case is heard. This is a risky, expensive strategy but the cost of doing nothing - of giving up now - is ultimately far, far greater. It is urgent that native forests are left standing and endangered species are protected from ongoing loss from logging," Jenny Weber said.
“Ultimately, we will stop the destruction of Tasmania’s native forests and wildlife and that day draws closer every time we take action in the forests and in the courts,” Jenny Weber said.