The Bob Brown Foundation has launched a legal challenge to the regulation of native forest logging in Tasmania.
The Great Forest Case argues that the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) doesn’t protect endangered species, making it invalid. This would potentially set up a precedent to ban all native logging in Australia for good.
Almost 90% of the wood produced in Australia comes from established plantations. It’s crazy that native bushland is logged at all. In Tasmania’s case, threatened species like the Swift Parrot, Masked Owl, Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle, Tasmanian Devil and the Giant Freshwater Crayfish, call native forests their home.
Patagonia and We Are Explorers support a ban on the logging of native forests. After 22-years fighting to protect Tasmania’s native forests, Jenny Weber explains why The Great Forest Case is the best chance in a generation:
The Great Forest Case
I grew up with the eucalyptus trees, ‘Blinky Bill’ and ‘Snugglepot and Cuddlepie’ totems of an Australian way of life. And watching the trees on my horizon as I swam in the ocean, thinking they would always be there.
‘It’s these long green belts that are the backdrop to many Australians’ lives, deceiving them into thinking we have more than enough trees.’
Behind locked gates are the clear-felled eucalypts and plundered ecosystems – which dated back to supercontinent Gondwanaland. They are still being logged for woodchips or timbers, exported to logging mafias and sold off as ‘eco-wood’. Out of sight and far out of the minds of many.
With raging fires interrupting beloved summer holidays, we have been shockingly awakened to the fact that these forests and their wildlife are fragile, mortal and dependent on each other for survival. We are yet to realise humans too are dependent on their survival.
Those in power don’t see the fate of the native forests is inextricably linked to the heating of the planet. In parallel, they support the insatiable greed of the native forest logging industry bent on that which has been providing clean air, water, and wildlife habitat from since before European invasion.
The Great Forest Case is the best chance in a generation to end native forest logging in Australia. The Bob Brown Foundation is challenging the regulation of native forest logging in Tasmania, with the aim to unravel the notorious framework under which logging across Australia is carried out. Arguing that the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) is not a valid agreement, we want to strike it down.
Australia’s government is in a cosy ‘hands-off’ arrangement with the state governments which essentially exempts logging from national environment laws, allowing large-scale destruction of native forests which are the habitat of nationally significant species.
‘Currently there are 6 million hectares of Australian native forests which are available for logging under RFAs.’
The Great Forest Case could spell the end of these notoriously inadequate agreements. If we win and achieve an immediate ban on native forest logging in Tasmania, it will be a game-changing precedent, opening the door for similar action in other states.
The first hearing of The Great Forest Case is being held today, Wednesday September 23.
This piece is an excerpt, read the full story Patagonia’s Roaring Journals.
Feature photo: logged forest in southern Tasmania, photo by Rob Blakers