Day 1

The Possums’ Case – Court Diary June 2019

Day 1: Monday June 3, 2019

The first day of our case in the Federal Court, Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum -v- VicForests, went well.

The room was crowded out with our supporters so that more chairs had to be brought in.

Proceedings began with news that VicForests has served yet another late affidavit – we don’t even have full details yet!

They have accepted the excellent evidence prepared for our case by several lay witnesses and will therefore not be calling those witnesses for cross examination. This is confirmation of the great work of surveyors Jake, Blake, Andy, Hayley and others. They are also not calling Dean Nicolle our Eucalypt expert or Dr van der Ree who verified our survey images.

The day was mostly occupied with our barrister, Jim Delany QC, presenting our opening statement, including photos and video of Greater Gliders and Leadbeater’s Possums, an explanation of the procedure for possum surveys and an overview of our expert evidence and maps. We learned that Justice Mortimer likes maps! She was clearly engaged and intervened frequently, seeking clarification on several points.

After lunch the Court heard information on VicForests’s logging methods and was told that the new methods now proposed were driven by the corporation’s long standing wish to obtain certification by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) not by protection of the Greater Glider or Leadbeater’s Possum.

Tomorrow morning (Tuesday) Mr Delany will complete his initial presentation and the remainder of the day is expected to be taken up with the opening statement on behalf of VicForests.

“The Australian” was in Court today and has already published a story on its website.

The Court has a dedicated website for the case. Documents will be added as the case proceeds: https://www.fedcourt.gov.au/services/access-to-files-and-transcripts/online-files/friends-of-leadbeaters-possum-v-vicforests

You are welcome to join us in Court and we will be glad to see you – Level 8 Court B. Proceedings begin each day around 10:00am; allow time to get through security. The court building is next to Flagstaff Station, so very easy to access.

Our final fundraiser is under way, to meet the expenses of presenting our powerful expert evidence and to cover Court and legal costs. Thanks to all those who have already helped us to get this far – we couldn’t have done it without you! Give generously here: https://chuffed.org/project/possums-case

Thanks for your interest and support.

Thanks to Adam for today’s pic!


Day 1 done – group shot

Next: Day 2

Court Case: Table of Contents

Court Case: Introduction November 2017