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Judge Forrest: Brown Mountain injunction case in public interest


It seems unlikely that Environment East Gippsland stands to wear enormous costs after all. Judge Jack Forrest seems to be taking the laws he is expected to hear the case in relation to very seriously. Those laws are all about preserving biodiversity.

Here is how he has worded a relevant part of the jugement:

"Third, VicForests correctly says that any undertaking as to damages which may be given by EEG is in effect close to meaningless. The estimate of EEG's assets vary between $10,000 and $45,000. If it is unsuccessful in the calim, presumably it will, at least, have out of pocket legal expenses, and I assume there will be no money available to satisfy the undertaking as to damages. However, this is a public interest piece of litigation against a State corporation and I bear in mind that the preservation of endangered native fauna is a paramount consideration in the statutory provisions and documents I have referred to.

The Judge seems to be saying that an injunction would be appropriate. He has, however, allowed VicForests until Thursday to prove what their loss might be if there is just a temporary injunction and not a permanent stop to logging. A final comment: Since there has been a seven month moratorium for that area up until recently, while government biologists carried out surveys to confirm EEG's findings, it would be hard for VicForests to claim sudden large losses if they were prevented from logging for another few months.

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