Image copyright PA Image caption Hundreds of environmentalists took to the skies after the logging started
A High Court judge has turned down a bid to have a temporary injunction issued in a protest against logging in a former national park.
Hundreds of activists objected to Forestry Tasmania and forestry companies logging in Fairy Creek, north of Hobart.
The timber harvesting was approved as part of an agreement to return the area to its original ecology.
But some branches of protest group Forest Ethics say logging poses the risk of decimating rare insect species.
‘Worth their effort’
The move is the latest in a long-running battle to stop the logging on environmental grounds.
Earlier this year, the region was targeted by protesters calling themselves the “umbrella group”, who said they had been called to action to preserve the trees.
There were also high-profile high-profile anti-logging actions over the past decade.
Following a protest last year, logging companies said all their timber from the forest was sold and there was no way they could have stopped it.
‘We need to see the Forestry Tasmania investment in making peace with the community.’ Craig Coltman
Chief executive of Forest Ethics
Craig Coltman, chief executive of Forest Ethics, which is trying to prevent the firewood that comes from the now closed protected area being burned, said he was encouraged by the ruling.
“We needed this injunction so we can go to trial against forestry management and see what we are doing wrong,” he said.
“We need to see the Forestry Tasmania investment in making peace with the community and show them they can do things right.”
Three logging companies and Forestry Tasmania applied for the injunction, but the appeal judge ruled in favour of Forest Ethics.
“The likelihood of the Defendants knowingly doing anything to harm the conservation status of the premises was very low,” Justice Colin Fairclough said.
“I therefore conclude that the Respondents should not be relieved from the legal consequence of their actions.”
He has now reserved his decision on whether the injunction should be issued.
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