Media release – Bob Brown Foundation, 22 December 2020
Bob Brown Foundation bid to halt Swift Parrot logging
Bob Brown Foundation’s application for an injunction to stop the logging of Swift Parrot habitat in Tasmania’s Eastern Tiers forests will be heard in the Federal Court on 11th January if an interim agreement is not reached with Forestry Tasmania trading as Sustainable Timber Tasmania pending the decision by the Full Court of the Federal Court in the Great Forest case.
Before Justice Duncan Kerr in the Federal Court in Hobart this afternoon, the Foundation’s barrister, Ron Merkel QC, said STT has seemingly accepted that Eucalyptus brookeriana is an important food source for the critically-endangered parrot. E. brookeriana is itself listed as part of a critically-endangered forest community. Leading Swift Parrot scientist Dr Matthew Webb has collated the evidence of E. brookeriana’s importance to the parrot’s survival.
Justice Kerr enjoined upon STT the need for it to reach an agreement that the coupes containing E brookeriana and old growth trees of other species providing nesting sites, not to be logged between now and the hearing on 11 January 2021.
“This is vital,” Bob Brown said outside the court. “It also shows the limitations on the current knowledge of the damage done by logging of native forests. It should stop – governments simply do not know the consequences of flattening or incinerating native forests on a long list of threatened native plants and wildlife.”
BBF will continue to monitor logging over the Christmas-New Year break to ensure STT does not destroy more of this species or other Swift Parrot feeding or breeding forest habitat.
“We are mindful of the judge enquiring whether our foundation has the assets to pay damages to the loggers should our challenges to save the Swift Parrot fail. But there is silence on how STT or state or federal governments should compensate if their logging is found to be illegal or if the Swift Parrot is driven to extinction,” Bob Brown said.