Federal Court decision on Native forest logging to be handed down in landmark case tomorrow


On Wednesday morning, 10 January, the Federal Court will hand down the decision of a monumental hearing with serious implications on the validity and continuation of native forest logging in NSW. The case which was heard in March 2022 was brought by the North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) against the Commonwealth of Australia and the State of NSW in the first ever legal challenge to a Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) in NSW. NEFA, represented by the Environmental Defenders Office, challenged the 2018 decision to extend the North East RFA on the grounds that the Commonwealth and State failed to assess the impacts of industrial scale logging on climate change, endangered species and old growth forests, despite it being required to do so. 

Greens MP and spokesperson for the environment Sue Higginson said “No matter the decision on Wednesday, it is clear from the evidence presented in the case that the logging of our public native forests is happening under outdated laws that have not considered climate change and are facilitating the destruction of critical habitats for threatened species and ecosystems.”  

“This is a landmark case and if successful will functionally cease native forest logging in the North East of NSW and should cause all native forest logging in NSW to stop immediately,”

“The NSW Government has allowed native forest logging to continue unabated across the State despite known concerns that the practice is not operating under an agreement fit for purpose and, should this challenge be successful, the responsibility will fall to them to repair the unlawful damage that has occurred,”

“Whatever the decision handed down, the Government should respond to this challenge by ending all native forest agreements and no logging operation should be undertaken unless the full environmental impacts have been assessed with consideration for threatened species, old growth forests and climate change,”

“Should the judgement lead to the much needed shutdown of native logging activities across the State, those workers left in the industry must be adequately supported. We all benefit from healthy and resilient native forests, and people who will lose employment as a result of this decision should be compensated by the Governments that have failed to properly plan for this transition,”

“2024 must be the year that ends the industrial and destructive logging of native forests in NSW. Forest dependent species, the climate and the wellbeing of people all rely on healthy and biodiverse native forests that are currently being systematically wrecked by industrial and profitless logging operations. The decision handed down could have the ability to fast track the inevitable,” Ms Higginson said.

For media contact Sue Higginson: 0428 227 363