Victoria logging company won an appeal against Leatbeater's Possum




The Victoria logging company won an appeal against Leatbeater's Possum case despite the fact that it posses a major threat to the Australian wildlife.


Previous ruling of this case:

In May 2020, the Federal Court ruled that the VicForests breached environmental laws when they put the habitat of endangered species such as the Leatneater's Possum and the greater glider in danger. According to The Guardian, a group of environmentalists argued that "VicForests had breached the code of practice in its regional forestry agreement and that its exemption from national environmental laws should therefore not apply. It said the court should prevent further logging unless it was assessed and approved by the federal environment minister, Sussan Ley."


What are the regional forest agreement (RFA) ?

As a result of the forest war in 1980s and 1990s, the RFA was drafted. According to the conversation, "the federal government would accredit state forest management systems, and in return federal law would no longer apply to logging operations. Drawing up regional forest agreements between state and federal governments achieved this."


What happened ?

The federal court overturned a judgement that was made in May 2020, saying that if logging is conducted within a regional forest agreement zone, it would be free from federal law, regardless if it breaches state laws and the RFA. The ground that won the appeal was that the federal environmental law designed to protect endangered animals, didn't apply to logging due to a forestry exemption.


The president of the group, Steve Meacher, said the judgment was “very disappointing”.

“Logging in native forests is killing threatened species and destroying their critical habitat,” he said. “This battle is not over yet.”


What will happen to the wildlife ?

Although the RFA was established with its best intention, it has not been protecting the environment as much as people would like it to. According to the conversation "We are currently experiencing a global mass extinction event, and Australia is a global extinction leader. Australia is responsible for 35% of all modern mammal extinctions globally and has seen an average decline of 50% in threatened bird populations since 1985." Logging has led to the decline in the number of trees, thus, there is less habitat for endangered species. This makes animal more prone to extinction.