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Fox remains in charge of the hen house. Supreme Court Case decides on Business As Usual for logging

Updated: Dec 11, 2022

Blue Derby Wild have been unsuccessful in proving to the Supreme Court Case the unlawful way in which Tasmania’s native forests are logged based on regulatory issues allowing Sustainable Timber Tasmania staff to take on the powers of the independent regulator, Forest Practices Authority (FPA), to review, approve and police native forest logging plans they have developed and implemented.

We are obviously disappointed at the outcome. We will be consulting with our legal team on the next steps, with the possibility to appeal to the Full Court. This case has shone a light on Tasmania’s logging regulatory system that puts the fox firmly in charge of the henhouse as Sustainable Timber Tasmania (STT) staff are given the powers to regulate, and police, their own native forest logging practices and breaches.

This system of delegating the powers of the FPA to Forestry Tasmania staff lacks transparency and independent oversight, and proves our point that Tasmania does not have a world class native forest sector. We have a situation where STT staff members are being paid to log the forests, while also policing their own activities and the impact on threatened species, and biodiversity. Instead of the FPA which is the designated independent regulatory body.

This case has been highly unusual with retrospective legislation being rammed through the Tasmanian parliament, while the case was live, to make lawful the powers of delegation to STT staff to be their own regulators. Proof that the system dating back to 1985 was deeply problematic, and the basis of our claim commenced in April 2022.

We will take a day or two to understand what this means for the community's ability to stand up for our native forests, and our next steps. It is a sad day for transparency, our forests, and volunteer groups like ours who stand up for our forests and what makes Tasmania so special.

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