The Federal Court in Melbourne this morning granted a temporary injunction that prevents VicForests from logging in six areas in Victoria’s Central Highlands that are home to the threatened Greater Glider.
The urgent application was heard by Justice Steward after an undertaking made previously by VicForests lapsed and the state-owned agency started logging in some areas that are subject to an ongoing case brought by Environmental Justice Australia on behalf of Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum.
“This is a good, but temporary, outcome for our forests and their threatened species,” said Danya Jacobs, lawyer from Environment Justice Australia.
“We’ll be hard at work as this important case continues to make sure the law is upheld,” she said.
The injunction prevents VicForests from logging in five coupes and along one road (to prevent widening), including a controversial coupe near Noojee township.
“We are relieved that the threatened Greater Gliders are safe from the chainsaws for now,” said Steve Meacher, President of the Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum.
“If the government won’t act to protect our forests and their unique creatures, we will,” he said.
The injunction is valid until Wednesday 2 May, when a further hearing of the injunction application will proceed before Justice Mortimer in the Federal Court in Melbourne.
VicForests has indicated it will oppose the application on that date.
See also: Case to proceed to test VicForests’ non-compliance with forest agreement