Bigger than Brown Mountain!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Our Supreme Court case against VicForests did not settle at court-ordered mediation on 24th August. EEG and our team of excellent lawyers were planning to be back in the Melbourne Supreme Court again on October 26th to again argue the case.

BUT the Court adjourned our case due to ongoing DELWP investigations and VicForests recent disclosure of new documents. We will be heading off to the Melbourne Supreme Court on 6th February 2017 now - for an 8 day trial. We will be arguing that VicForests failed to identify and protect threatened plants and animals at logging coupes in the Kuark forests. This is going to be an important case for threatened species protection in Victoria.

EEG and our lawyers are set to go, but we do need your help - in a big way.
A very generous supporter has offered us a matching dollar for dollar donation of up to $10,000. But she needs to know we have public support. That means if we can raise $10,000 from our members and followers, it will actually give us $20,000 to help our case! Good deal?
As donations to EEG are tax-deductible you can also claim them back when you do your tax.


The case will raise legal questions that we hope will provide findings with wider ramifications than just in the disputed areas, as with the Brown Mountain findings. Those findings resulted in VicForests carrying out (limited) pre-logging surveys that it never had done in the past.


 
The values in dispute this time are:

  • Yellow-bellied Gliders
  • Long-footed Potoroo,
  • A new species of fish
  • Two new species of crayfish
  • Rainforest
  • Black fellows hemp
  • Slender Tree Fern
  • Large Brown Tree-frog

We will be presenting the case for threatened wildlife, rainforest, and the need for pre-logging surveys in the Kuark (Koo-ark) forest. We believe VicForests failed to identify protected plants and animals in areas of rich, wet forests it planned to clearfell. We also argue that after these values were identified, in many cases by volunteer citizen scientists from GECO and FFRC, the response was in some cases inadequate and contrary to VicForests legal obligations.
Of course, we believe we have good evidence or we’d not be taking this on, but we need your help to make sure we have the best possible chance of winning.
As the case is listed for an eight day hearing, that will mean more than a week of intense legal dispute between their barristers and ours. The Honourable Justice Emerton will preside over this case. The public is welcome to sit in and view proceedings at any time.

The Writ can be read here
The Statement of Claim can be read here
and the background to the case can be found here
 
Don’t forget - donating to the EEG legal fighting fund is a fantastic investment for our forests, now and into the future. You can click here to make secure online donations, mail a cheque to EEG, Locked bag 3, ORBOST 3888 or call 5154 0145 for our bank details to make a direct deposit.

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