OPINION: Who can save the trees?

DEAR News Of The Area,

THE NSW Land and Environment Court found on Monday that the harvest planner who signed off the harvest plans which decided what trees could be felled in Braemar and Myrtle State Forests was not accountable for meeting the legal requirement for maintaining ecologically sustainable forest management in those forests and that responsibility fell elsewhere.

It is like saying the service manager responsible for servicing a dud car is not responsible for the outcomes, or a teacher who delivers an approved but flawed education program is not responsible for the outcomes either.

If the professional forest planner is not responsible for ecologically sustainable forest management, who is?

Somewhere in the complex labyrinth of the bureaucracy of forest management in NSW and indeed Australia there must be someone who can be held accountable.

Half the fight for the North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) to get to court to launch the case over Braemar and Myrtle was to establish they had the standing to even challenge this lowest level of the bureaucratic maze.

Who could be expected to have the capacity to challenge the more substantial parts of this sprawling construct of forestry administration (which includes a Corporation, a Commission, an Authority, a Department and more).

Well NEFA may just do it again.

Getting on for almost two years ago they went higher up and in the Federal Court challenged the Australian Government’s rollover process for twenty year Regional Forest Agreements.

The Federal Court has finally said it will hand down its judgement on this case before the end of the month.

If striking at both the head and the tail of the monster fails, what realistic options are left?

Ashley LOVE,
Coffs Harbour.

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