Conservation group South East Forest Rescue (SEFR) has filed in the Land and Environment Court of NSW seeking an injunction that the state-run logging agency Forestry Corporation NSW be restrained from conducting any forestry activities in certain state forests on the north and south coasts of NSW until adequate surveys for Greater Gliders, Yellow-bellied Gliders, or Squirrel Gliders have been performed.
SEFR is seeking an injunction that the Forestry Corporation be permanently restrained from logging anywhere in the North East or South East forests unless they conduct effective surveys for gliders.
SEFR is also seeking orders to immediately suspend logging in Bulga, Clouds Creek, Moonpar, and Styx River State Forest on the north coast and Currowan, Shallow Crossing and Timbillica State Forests on the south coast to prevent irreparable damage being done in the interim.
SEFR’s position is that the Forestry Corporation is breaking the law by not performing adequate surveys for den trees, and necessary exclusion zones around den trees are not being implemented. SEFR say the impacts of logging on glider habitat are all the more critical for consideration in the wake of the 2019/20 fires.
This is the first time in 25 years that the Forestry Corporation has been brought to court by citizens for failure to comply with the law, called Coastal Integrated Forestry Operation Approvals, in particular failure to conduct adequate surveys for gliders.
“For too long this rogue Corporation have produced real harm to the environment and ecosystems. Much of the Glider habitat was impacted by the fires, this is why it is so important to protect any remaining habitat before the Forestry Corporation destroys all of our national treasures,” said Mr Scott Daines, spokesperson for South East Forest Rescue.
“The Corporation has previously admitted that it conducts its surveys for the dens of these nocturnal animals during the day,” said Mr Daines. “This incompetence needs to be stopped.”
“The people of New South Wales and the Parliament expect that Forestry Corporation will obey and abide by the laws of this state,” said Ms Natalija Nikolic, from XD Law. “We will be vigorously prosecuting this action and look forward to having this landmark legal challenge heard by the Court.”
SEFR have sought confirmation from the Forestry Corporation that they will discontinue logging of the compartments until the decision of the Court is handed down.
SEFR’s motion for injunction is expected to be scheduled this week and may be heard by the end of this week.