This release is from Healesville based MyEnvironment, about the outcome of the recent case seeking protection for the Leadbeaters Possum.
Law fails to guarantee protection for threatened species
The Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act has never before been tested at the level of Appeal. By taking our case to Appeal we have given the law the best possible opportunity to show whether it can be effective in its stated purpose of GUARANTEEING the survival of unique native species.
In this, the law has failed.
This judgement gives the green light to ongoing destruction of Leadbeater’s Possum habitat in Toolangi State Forest at sites where we have photographic and video confirmation that the species is present. Obviously, this is a disappointing outcome for MyEnvironment but, more importantly, for Leadbeater’s Possum and all other species that rely on the protection of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act for their ongoing survival.
If the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act is incapable of guaranteeing the protection of our state’s faunal emblem against a rapacious logging industry, we have to wonder what, if anything, does it protect?
We call on the state government to urgently review the Act to make it functional and effective in saving threatened species, including the Leadbeater’s Possum from extinction.
In the meantime, we call on VicForests and its contractors to demonstrate genuine commitment to their repeated protestations of concern for the survival of Leadbeater’s Possum by properly protecting all sites in logging coupes that contain known colonies of the species, including the three Toolangi coupes that were the subject of this case, where video and photographs of nesting and foraging animals have recently been obtained. Their conduct in coming days and weeks will be a public demonstration of their sincerity and decency.
We shall now take time to study the implications of the judgement for MyEnvironment, the group and its members, and to take advice on future action.
For quotes please call ; Steve Meacher 0447 330 863 or Sarah Rees 0438 368 870
For background on the Toolangi forest issue, check here.