Native forest logging to continue in NSW

The Federal Court has dismissed a challenge to native forest logging in northern NSW.

A challenge to native forest logging in northern NSW was raised by the North East Forest Alliance.

The Alliance fought against timber harvesting across four million hectares of native forest stretching from Sydney to the Queensland border, a considerable expanse of coastline home to several endangered species.

The essence of the challenge related to a regional forestry agreement between the Commonwealth and NSW governments which, the Alliance claimed, shouldn’t have been renewed without being subject to assessment and approval requirements set out under federal environment laws.

The case was dismissed on Wednesday, January 10, by Federal Court Justice Melissa Perry, who said, “A regional forest agreement provides an alternative mechanism by which the objects of the (federal) Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act can be achieved by way of an intergovernmental agreement,”

The Australian Forest Products Association had warned thousands of jobs could be on the line if there was a shutdown of logging across a large area that provides much needed hardwood for construction and other purposes, and will no doubt feel relieved at the decision.

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