End the ‘one stop chop’

One Stop Chop

The fate of some of Australia's most loved forests and iconic wildlife will be decided in 2018. Will native forest logging continue to be exempt from federal threatened species laws under the 'One Stop Chop' RFA regime? Or, for the first time in 20 years, will logging have to comply with Australia's environment laws like every other industry?

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RFA revelations divide parties

Federal and state governments have legal and political concerns about extending Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) based on badly outdated science, now over 20 years old, according to reports in the Guardian’s excellent series on neglected environmental issues: ‘Our Wide Brown Land’.

The Guardian’s reports have exposed divisions between Labor and the Coalition with Labor’s Tony Burke and Joel Fitzgibbon committing to ‘proper, independent and full scientific assessments’ of RFA outcomes while Assistant Minister for Agriculture, Senator Anne Ruston is refusing to undertake or fund new assessments, claiming that existing information is more than adequate.

Our Wide Brown Land – links to individual logging reports or to the Guardian’s whole series.

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World Forests Day, Wednesday 21 March

Stand up for the forests

World Forests Day - 21 March 2018. This week Stand up for the Forests in Perth and other places around the country.  Make your voice heard in a different way by contributing your craft skills.  And book now for the Forests Forever Easter Ecology Camp up at Goongerah in East Gippsland. Featured image - Lewin Forest (WAFA)

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Possums case – hope

On Friday afternoon, 2 March, Justice Mortimer handed down her decision in the Possums case. The decision is lengthy and complex but conservationists said that although the argument put by Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum was rejected, as was that of VicForests, the decision gave them grounds for hope. Read the judgment here and below are the next dates and initial reactions from outside the court on Friday.

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Forests this week

Protect tarkayna/Tarkine (Bob Brown Foundation)

Around the country logging blockades and protests are happening and planned; a huge crowd turned out in Hobart to protect takayna/Tarkine in the run up to the Tasmanian election. Meanwhile the Victorian government sits on reported logging breaches by VicForests and the Great Forest National Park enters the Batman by-election

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Landmark RFA challenge launched

Leadbeater's Possum

On 14 November, community group Friends of  Leadbeater's Possum, represented by Environmental Justice Australia, launched a landmark challenge to the 'logging exemption' from federal environment laws. The 'logging exemption' allows native forest logging 'in accordance with' a Regional Forest Agreement to proceed without federal assessment or approval even where it impacts on threatened species like the Greater Glider and Leadbeater's Possum. The challenge, nicknamed the 'Possums case', could have national implications.

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