Image: K Wright
BY JENNY WEBER
The Bob Brown Foundation takes its Great Forest Case to court on 23 September, and this could set a precedent for the preservation of millions of hectares of Australia’s wild places.
With The Great Forest Case, The Bob Brown Foundation is challenging the regulation of native forest logging in Tasmania, with the aim to unravel the notorious framework under which logging across Australia is carried out. Arguing that the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) is not a valid agreement, BBF want to strike it down.
Australia’s government is in a cosy “hands-off” arrangement with the state governments, which essentially exempts logging from national environment laws, allowing large-scale destruction of native forests which are the habitat of nationally significant species. Currently, there are 6 million hectares of Australian native forests which are available for logging under RFAs.
In Tasmania alone, over 1 million hectares of Tasmania’s forests are still under threat from logging. This includes large stretches of old-growth forests, such as in takayna/Tarkine – the breathtaking wilderness that for the past two years has hosted The takayana Ultra. It is the largest temperate rainforest, yet over 28,958 ha of its pristine forests remain in “permanent logging zones”.
Several of our iconic species are seriously under threat from logging, including the Swift Parrot, Masked Owl, Tasmanian Devil and Giant Freshwater Crayfish. The Swift Parrot is currently listed as critically endangered and is likely to go extinct in the next 10 years. The Tasmanian RFA is currently allowing for Swift Parrot habitat to be logged.
It is too much to bear, at times, that irreplaceable forests and the critically endangered wildlife that depend upon them are still being lost. My best antidote is to get up every day and keep taking action for the forests, wildlife and climate. It is to answer with action, as the logging of endangered species habitat and vast forests of Australia is indefensible. It is time for native forest loss to end.