Media Release: Native Forest Logging in Tasmania is illegal.

Federal Court challenge launched last evening.

Bob Brown Foundation is mounting a Federal Court challenge to logging of native forests in Tasmania because the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement between the state and commonwealth does not accord with the federal Regional Forest Agreements Act 2002.

“The RFA Act requires there to be enforceable environmental arrangements between Canberra and Hobart for forestry operations to ensure protection of endangered species. BBF’s case is that the RFA is not legally enforceable, especially for the system of reserves and the requirement for ecologically sustainable forest management (ESFM),” Bob Brown Foundation lawyer Roland Browne said today.

“Moreover, an RFA is meant to “provide for” ESFM, but here, the Tasmanian RFA allows the Tasmanian forest management system (of laws and procedures) to be amended by Tasmania when and how it pleases without reference to the Commonwealth,” he said. “BBF’s case is that this is not good enough.”

“Tasmania’s RFA is different to Victoria, where the Victorian system is required to be accredited by the Commonwealth.”

“Here in Tasmania, the state does what it likes under the protection of the RFA,” Roland Browne said.

“This is a huge undertaking for us but everyone knows that the flattening and burning of native forests and wildlife is not ecologically sustainable. It is ecological death. The industry is based on a monumental lie and this challenge puts that lie to the test,’ Bob Brown said.

Premier Gutwein’s claim last week that Tasmanian native forests are not being cleared, broadscale, is the latest manifestation of a refusal by forest managers in Tasmania to face the disastrous reality of forest destruction. The very things that people from around the world come to see in Tasmania are being incinerated under the patently false claim of ‘best ecological practice’,” he said.

“We are buoyed by the Federal Court having found similar logging of rare and endangered wildlife habitat in Victoria is illegal, but the basis of our claim is a fundamental breach of the very federal legislation which gave legal sanctity to the Regional Forest Agreement.“

“It is high time Australia followed New Zealand’s ending of native forest logging two decades ago. We can supply all our wood from the massive plantation estate now available in Tasmania and across mainland Australia,” he added.

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