MEDIA RELEASE, Thursday 2 August 2012
Today, in a curious paradox, the Department of Sustainability and Environment is being taken to court for not adhering to its own rainforest protection laws, while next week DSE will be in court prosecuting VicForests for criminally logging rainforests.
The environment group which successfully sued VicForests in 2010 for planning to unlawfully destroy endangered wildlife habitat, has today served court documents on DSE*.
Environment East Gippsland hopes to prove that DSE neglected to follow its own law and protect identified areas of nationally significant rainforest.
“While DSE takes VicForests to court for illegally logging rainforests, we believe it has itself broken laws on rainforest protection, which has forced our community group to now take DSE to court”, said Jill Redwood from EEG “It reads like a silly Monty Python sketch, but this absurdity is real”.
VicForests is due to appear in the Bairnsdale Magistrates court this Monday 6th August and the Environment East Gippsland vs DSE case should be heard in the Supreme Court in November later this year.
For comment or information: Jill Redwood (03) 5154 0145
*Environment East Gippsland initially began proceedings to sue VicForests last December/January over 14 areas of rainforest it planned to clearfell. These 14 areas support nationally significant rainforest in East Gippsland. It has now joined DSE into the case as EEG believes DSE is the authority which should have by law mapped and protected all Sites of National Significance for Rainforest.