Judge orders logging suspension in Huon Valley amid legal challenge

A judge has ordered forestry operations suspended in an area said to be home to the swift parrot.

A judge has ordered forestry operations suspended in an area said to be home to the swift parrot. Photo: ANU via AAP

Veteran environmentalist Bob Brown is claiming a “huge win” after a judge ordered the suspension of forestry operations in an area of Tasmania purportedly home to a rare parrot.

Dr Brown’s foundation is challenging the legality of logging at a forestry coupe in the Huon Valley south of Hobart.

The foundation alleges a forestry permit was illegally approved by the state authority despite evidence critically endangered swift parrots lived and had nesting habitat in the coupe.

The foundation’s application for an injunction to suspend forestry activity in the coupe until the case can be heard was granted by Supreme Court of Tasmania Justice David Porter on Wednesday.

A date has yet to be set for the hearing.

“This is a huge win for Tasmania’s forests,” Brown said outside court in Hobart.

“We will be bringing more experts and more surveillance of the logging of these forests.”

Justice Porter said if the injunction had not been made, any remaining swift parrot habitat could have potentially been destroyed by the time the court hearing was held.

He said there was a “significant” public interest element in the proceedings.

Under the forest practices plan for the coupe, which was approved in September, any evidence of swift parrots or their nesting sites must be immediately reported to the Sustainable Timber Tasmania officer on site.

Tree felling within 500m of the sightings must immediately cease until the evidence is assessed.

The plan also sets aside exclusion areas deemed potential swift parrot habitat.


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