Adam Morton August 26, 2011
CONSERVATIONISTS have won a short-term injunction preventing logging in an area of native forest near Toolangi in Victoria’s central highlands.
Healesville-based group My Environment lodged a writ in the Supreme Court claiming three logging coupes contain habitat of the endangered Leadbeater’s possum and should be protected under state law.
State logging agency VicForests yesterday agreed to stop logging in the coupes until the case for a longer injunction could be tested in court on September 19. The court action follows a month-long dispute in the forest. There have been at least 14 arrests.
The Department of Sustainability and Environment, responsible for surveying proposed logging sites, has said there was no sign of live possums in the coupe on Sylvia Creek Road, and that it did not meet the legal criteria of prime possum habitat. The interim court ruling will allow timber workers to return to the coupe to remove trees that have already been felled.
Scientists working on behalf of My Environment will be allowed to survey the coupe for possum habitat.