Logging has been temporarily halted in 26 unburnt areas of Victorian native forest after environmentalists argued in court there was a risk of “serious and irreversible damage” to threatened species after last summer’s bushfires.
In the Victorian Supreme Court on Wednesday, Justice Kate McMillan granted an injunction to stop logging in 13 unburnt forest areas until the concerns could be aired in a court case against the state’s logging agency, VicForests.
These include areas in the Kalatha Valley of the Giants near Toolangi, Mount Bride near Warburton and Mount Baw Baw. While the injunction is temporary, the case is likely to take months, if not years, to be decided.
In January the volunteer group Wildlife of the Central Highlands (Wotch), with the support of community legal centre Environmental Justice Australia, argued logging should be banned in a number of unburnt areas to protect habitat for endangered species after the catastrophic bushfires.