The fate of some of Australia's most loved forests and iconic wildlife will be decided in 2019. 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?
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.