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state governments have legal and political concerns about extending Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) based on badly outdated science, now over 20 years old, according to reports in the Guardian’s excellent series on neglected environmental issues: ‘Our Wide Brown Land’.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