High Court refusing leave to appeal, a major win for Victoria’s sustainable native timber industry

Victoria’s forest industries have welcomed today’s High Court decision to refuse the Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum request to appeal to the High Court in their case against VicForests. This decision is a vindication for Victoria’s sustainable and essential native hardwood forest industry and the Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) framework, the Victorian Forest Products Association (VFPA) and Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) said today.

“Finally some common sense has prevailed with today’s High Court decision the final nail in the coffin in this long running legal saga. The appeal decision of the full bench of the Federal Court will now stand fully vindicating VicForests,” said Deb Kerr, CEO of VFPA.

“Let’s be very clear, VicForests successful appeal stands meaning that the original Court’s decision has been overturned in its entirety,” Deb Kerr said.

AFPA CEO Ross Hampton said the decision also vindicated Victoria’s and Australia’s native forestry industries and the national RFA framework.

“RFAs provide all the necessary environmental protections required for forestry operations. The RFA framework is robust, and I welcome the courts’ recognition of that.

“It’s also worth noting that our native forest industries are held to the highest possible environmental standards, where every tree harvested is sustainably regrown for future generations. The equivalent of just 6 trees in every 10,000 are harvested and then sustainably regrown. Our industries also produce essential products like timber pallets, where there is a national shortage leading into Christmas.

“We welcome the High Court’s decision and look forward to working with the federal and state governments to ensure native forest industries can operate with certainty going forward,” concluded Ross Hampton.

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