Last Wednesday the Supreme Court handed down its decision in the case of MyEnvironment v VicForests. MyEnvironment, a Central Highlands–based environment group, were seeking to halt logging in Toolangi forest on the basis that it was habitat to the Leadbeater’s Possum – a threatened species and Victoria’s faunal emblem.
The Court found against MyEnvironment. The Court’s decision ultimately turned on the interpretation of a couple of clauses in the Action Statement and the Forest Management Plan, documents designed to protect the habitat of species like the possum.
Despite the Court’s finding, supporters of the case should not be too disappointed. As a result of MyEnvironment’s bringing the trial, VicForests significantly reduced the manner and extent of their planned logging at Toolangi. In its decision, the Court also stated that the evidence showed an urgent need to review the controls that are supposed to protect the possums in the region – a review which VicForests has subsequently supported.