The High Court rejection of a Bob Brown Foundation request to appeal against the Federal Court’s validation of Regional Forest Agreements will send shock waves through the majority of Australians who want our forests saved, Brown said today.
“The bizarre state of affairs where Commonwealth responsibility for protection of endangered species and their habitats under the EPBC Act is deferred to state agencies devoted to destroying them is upheld in this decision.”
Graeme Samuels’ October 2020 report on the EPBC Act, commissioned by this government, commences with “Australia’s natural environment and iconic places are in an overall state of decline and are under increasing threat”. Samuels recommended that the RFAs go. Environment Minister Sussan Ley rejected this along with Samuels’ recommendation that she set up an environmental police force - a green ‘cop on the beat’. Our most powerful environmentalist is destroying our most vulnerable wildlife. This is ecocide in broad daylight by the Morrison government,” Brown said.
“The RFAs are a spectacular failure in protection of forests harbouring a long list of birds, animals, insects and plants headed for extinction, including koalas, Tasmanian devils, black cockatoos and greater gliders,” Brown said.
“The Greens alone oppose the exclusion of forest logging and incineration from environmental law. The politicians, not the judges, are at fault. Voters can decide on this at the next federal election.”
“An excellent outcome of this ‘Great Forest Case’ was halting logging in swift parrot habitat on Tasmania’s Eastern Tiers in October 2020. There’s no sign it will resume.” But Brown and fellow forest defenders face Tasmanian courts in July after being arrested while halting the logging.
“Support for the ‘Great Forest Case’ has been phenomenal. The public loves its forests and understands their importance in the climate and biodiversity crises. But PM Morrison is with the chainsaws, not the public. Today’s abysmal High Court decision highlights his failure to protect the threatened iconic forests and wildlife of our nation,” Brown said.