Land and Environment Court imposes fines and costs totalling $285,600 against Forestry Corporation
The NSW Land and Environment Court has found the Forestry Corporation guilty of the unlawful logging of precious rainforest and the logging of koala habitat in Wild Cattle Creek State Forest. The Court found these offences caused actual environmental harm, particularly to koala habitat.
Sue Higginson welcomed the judgement, "Forestry Corporation is a serial offender and can not and should not be trusted to manage our precious public native forest estate any longer,
“The illegal logging operations occurred in 2018 and the $285,600 worth of fines and costs that have been delivered to Forestry Corporation today are long overdue,
“It is outrageous that in the Court the Forestry Corporation argued that their unlawful activity was insignificant and that the Koala habitat destroyed was not habitat of an ‘important population’. The Koala has been listed as an endangered species. Every population is important and significant when dealing with a species that faces extinction by 2050.
"The Forestry Corporation is a serial offender with 7 previous court convictions and in the past 5 years 24 official cautions and 13 penalty notices being delivered by the Environment Protection Agency.
Back in 2011 the Court held that "the number of convictions [against the Forestry Corporation] suggests either a pattern of continuing disobedience in respect of environmental laws generally or, at the very least, a cavalier attitude to compliance with such laws.” It found “that the Forestry Commission's conduct does manifest a reckless attitude towards compliance with its environmental obligations."
“Forestry Corporation has proved it can not be trusted and its cavalier attitude to threatened species and their habitats must end,”.
“We must end the industrial scale logging of our precious public native forests as a matter of urgency. The industry runs at a financial loss and is heavily subsidised by the public purse. Our forests provide an important front line of defence against the impacts of climate change, they are culturally significant, they are the refuge to many threatened species that are facing extinction, they provide clean water and rainfall. Our public forest estate provides a valuable education and recreation resource. Logging our public forests no longer stacks up.” Ms Higginson said.