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Stop the logging industry regulating itself

Blue Derby Wild have filed an appeal to the Full Court regarding the decision handed down on Friday December 9 in the Supreme Court of Tasmania that dismissed our allegations of unlawful logging against the Forest Practices Authority, and Sustainable Timber Tasmania.

The claim is focused on issues of apprehended bias arising from Sustainable Timber Tasmania staff having the powers to self regulate their logging plans and logging operations, in the stead of the independent regulator, The Forest Practices Authority. Allowing Sustainable Timber Tasmania staff regulate their own logging plans and operations raises serious issues of apprehended bias. As part of our appeal we are seeking an immediate extension on the injunction on any logging operations around the forests in question.

This case is about so much more than a few areas of forests around the Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails that hold the most successful mountain biking brand in Tasmania, arguably Australia.

It is about how the Tasmanian native forest logging sector have been regulating themselves for decades. Resulting in hundreds of thousands of hectares of native forests being logged in ways that are anything but sustainable, lack transparency, do not adhere to the most basic environmental and biodiversity benchmarks, and are purposely exempt from federal laws such as the Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act thanks to our state based Regional Forest Agreement.

When starting this case we knew we were in for a long ride as we are challenging systematic issues with how our government business enterprise Sustainable Timber Tasmania (Forestry Tasmania) regulates itself, and continues to lock the community out of decisions about our state owned forests.

We are obviously disappointed at the outcome, however not surprised as our legal team said at the outset that given the state wide and systemic implications of this case, we would most likely be progressing beyond the Supreme Court of Tasmania. That journey started on Tuesday December 13 when we lodged our appeal to the Full Court.

This case shines a light on Tasmania’s logging regulatory system that puts the fox firmly in charge of the henhouse, as Sustainable Timber Tasmania staff are given the powers to regulate, and police, their own native forest logging practices and breaches.

From the beginning this case has been highly unusual with retrospective legislation being rammed through the Tasmanian parliament while the case was going to trial, to make lawful the powers of delegation to STT staff to act as Forest Practices Authority regulators, to sign off on their own work. Proof that the system dating back to 1985 was deeply problematic.

You can help us prosecute decades of unlawful logging by donating to our Legal Fighting Fund

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