Timber Industry Buoyed By Court Ruling On Regional Forest Agreements

By Andrew Vivian
News of the Area Australia
January 23, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: International

AUSTRALIA — Timber industry supporters on the North Coast had reason to smile last week after a Federal Court judge dismissed a legal challenge to the North East NSW Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) that allows logging in north-eastern NSW native forests. The North East RFA exempts logging from federal environmental assessment under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The case 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 in NSW. NEFA lawyers argued that, when the RFA was renewed in 2018 for another 20 years, the Commonwealth did not assess climate change, endangered species or old-growth forests as it was required to. Justice Perry dismissed those arguments, finding that such an assessment was not required, and in any event had occurred.

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