Wednesday, 26 August 2020
At the request of Senator Rice, I move:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) the Federal Court of Australia has made formal declarations of unlawful logging by VicForests in 66 forest areas under Victoria's Regional Forest Agreement,
(ii) the Bob Brown Foundation has launched a separate legal action, arguing that logging under the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement is unsustainable and illegal, and
(iii) handing environmental approvals to the states will make the rest of our environment subject to the same systemic failure as our forests have been suffering under the Regional Forests Agreements; and
(b) calls on the Government to:
(i) abandon the failed, flawed Regional Forest Agreements,
(ii) immediately protect all old-growth and high conservation value forests,
(iii) abandon attempts to rush through changes to environmental laws that make it easier for big miners and developers to damage our environment and wildlife, and
(iv) create an independent environmental watchdog with teeth.
The opposition won't be supporting this. The native timber industry is highly regulated. With regard to the Federal Court decision, the matter is ongoing and the Senate should allow these proceedings to continue without interference.