Nationals Senator for Victoria, Bridget McKenzie has welcomed today’s High Court decision to refuse to grant leave to an anti-native forestry activist group who sought to appeal the decision of the Full Bench of the Federal Court in their case against VicForests.
The decision follows ongoing green lawfare by Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum against VicForests’ native forest operations, which has continued to jeopardise the livelihoods of thousands of workers throughout the timber supply chain.
Senator McKenzie said “I welcome today’s decision by the High Court and am buoyed by the fact the Court won’t tolerate our judicial system becoming a battlefield for environmental activism.
“Supporting forestry is not anti-environment. It is fact that Australia’s native forestry operations are strictly regulated to the highest environmental standards and every tree used is replaced as the areas are regenerated and regrown by law.
“Our native forest industry supports thousands of hard working men and women, as well as the regional communities they call home, and it is one of the most sustainable industries in Australia.
“The decision gives certainty to industry that their future is viable and this is something I have long worked to achieve, including through my Private Senator’s Bill which I introduced to Federal Parliament last year”.
While today’s High Court decision is a win for industry, more still needs to be done to prevent green extremists shutting down native forest harvesting on the back of nonsensical activism.
“The current ‘palletgate’ issue really puts the impact of green extremism in perspective for people as now they will experience what happens when a sustainable, reputable industry is brought to a grinding halt because of escalating lawfare,” Senator McKenzie said.
“Beer is now being rationed across some bottle shops because brewers can’t get enough pallets to freight their products, which are made from native timber.
“Ultimately, the blame lies with the Andrews’ Victorian Labor Government for not ensuring the Victorian Timber Code is able to be clearly interpreted, and that it stands to reign in court-based activism.
“The Andrews’ Government is opening the door for repeated litigation being brought on by activist groups who will not stop until they shut down native forestry, and then they’ll move to target other sectors of the forestry industry,” Senator McKenzie said.