CONSERVATIONISTS are preparing for their ‘last stand’ in the battle to save the Sylvia Creek logging coupe near Toolangi.
Local environmental group MyEnvironment went to the Supreme Court last week and successfully sought an injunction against VicForests.
The state-owned timber company is now prohibited from any further logging at the Gun Barrel coupe in the Toolangi State Forest until a further hearing on September 19.
The coupe has been the site of a series of protests in the past two months by conservationists who fear continued logging will wipe out the endangered Leadbeater’s possum.
MyEnvironment spokeswoman Sarah Rees told the Weekly the group was relieved to have the injunction but she was “gutted” they had been forced to go to the Supreme Court.
Ms Rees said VicForests was governed by Department of Sustainability and Environment forestry and wildlife policies which were out of date, particularly since these issues had escalated following the Black Saturday fires.
“Because of a lack of investment [by the state government] in our wildlife this is all that’s left for us to do to get a fair adjudication on the matter,” Ms Rees said.
“It’s going to be a challenge and it will come down to a lot of nitty-gritty things.”
It is estimated only about 1000 Leadbeater’s possum remain in Victoria, with much of the population wiped out in the 2009 bushfires.
A spokesman for VicForests said the company and DSE had assessed the area in question and determined that it did not meet the accepted criteria for a Leadbeater’s possum habitat.
Victorian Association of Forest Industries chief executive officer Lisa Marty said VicForests inspected all its coupes before harvesting and that the legal action would prove that the company had met all its requirements.