Supreme Court update: WOTCH vs VicForests

It has been a huge few months for our forests and threatened wildlife. On 30 January representing Wildlife of the Central Highlands (WOTCH), we launched a Victorian Supreme Court Case against VicForests to stop logging in areas of unburnt habitat for threatened wildlife following the catastrophic bushfires. We’re pleased that the Victorian Supreme Court granted WOTCH an interlocutory injunction to halt logging in 13 areas of unburned threatened species habitat.   

Thank you to our incredible community

We have been overwhelmed by the generous support we have received for this case. It’s with the help of our incredible community that these areas of vital habitat for the Greater Glider, Sooty Owl, Powerful Owl and Smoky Mouse are safe for the duration of the case while we seek long-term protection. This is a great result for our forests and wildlife following the extensive destruction of this summer’s fires.  

The court rejected VicForests’ arguments against the granting of the injunction. According to Justice McMillan:  

“Whilst the defendant has demonstrated it will suffer some short-term loss, and that long-term loss may exacerbate any likely shortfall in production, this pales in comparison to the potential threat of irreversible environmental damage to the fire affected threatened species.  All five of the threatened species have been identified by the State government as on the path to extinction. It goes without saying that once these species are extinct, there is no going back.”  

Latest update from court

WOTCH’s was back in court last Friday 26 March for a hearing of our application to extend the existing interlocutory injunction to cover an additional 13 areas. This move came as VicForests began logging some of these areas and prepared to log others, including the Zinger Coupe in Toolangi. We’ll keep you updated on the court’s decision.

With your continued support, we can help our client WOTCH hold VicForests to account in court.
Thank you for standing up for our magnificent forests and precious wildlife.

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