The Brown Mountain landmark trial has concluded in the Supreme Court on Thursday 25th March – after a 16 day trial

Justice Osborn has reserved his decision. It could take anywhere from one month to six months to hand down a finding, but of course we are hoping sooner.
 
The four week trial has been marked by finger-pointing between government logging bodies VicForests and DSE about who is responsible for endangered species. The behavior of those charged with protecting our wildlife has been exposed to public scrutiny and the Supreme Court’s enquiry.

 
We believe the government doesn’t survey for endangered wildlife before they log old growth forest, because they don’t want to find anything that would prevent logging. The Court heard that VicForests doesn’t employ wildlife experts, and EEG has argued that both VicForests and the DSE sideline the opinion of the government’s biodiversity unit.
 
We now hope the Minister is fully informed about the very high conservation values in this area. EEG presented evidence of a new species of crayfish in Brown Mountain Creek, plus experts claiming the stands of old growth are high quality habitat for two species of rare frogs, and the Spot-tailed (Tiger) Quoll. The evidence for the Tiger Quoll was heart-breaking – the three last remaining viable colonies are in East Gippsland.
 
This case has been all about whether irreversible damage would be caused by logging. And as our legal team stated “ You can’t get damage that is more irreversible than extinction.”
 
The outcome of this case is important for the protection of wildlife in other stands of high conservation value native forests under threat of clearfelling.
http://eastgippsland.net.au/

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