Media Releases - 28 November 2022

Urgent court action with local community to test lawfulness of logging on Mt Tongatabu

  • Wilderness Society (Tasmania) is seeking urgent disclosure of documents to help determine legality of logging at Mt Tongatabu in Supreme Court today

  • Legal action is again necessary to hold Tasmanian government-owned logging agency Sustainable Timber Tasmania to account

  • They stand alongside the local community, who opposes the logging of precious forest and threatened species (swift waylitja/parrot) habitat

UPDATE: Sustainable Timber Tasmania rolls again at last minute, raising more questions than answers

In another legal case that sought to shine a public light into murky logging operations, Sustainable Timber Tasmania (STT) has again asked to settle at the last minute instead of going to court.

“This is another win for the public’s Right To Know about logging operations in State forests but it raises more questions than answers,” said Tom Allen for the Wilderness Society (Tasmania).

“This is also a win for community members around Surges Bay and Dover, who oppose this local forest destruction.

“When STT, the Tasmanian Government-owned logging agency, releases the documents that the court has instructed it to, we will look at them closely and consider our options. It remains unclear if STT’s logging operations are lawful; why STT is still refusing to release many, possibly hundreds, of logging plans requested by the community; and why these are now no longer automatically made public as they used to be.

“It’s also unclear—in fact, it’s impossible—for people to know if the paper, packaging, furniture or timber they purchase is made from wood that comes from this forest destruction or not.

“The big picture is that the Tasmanian government continuing to log native forests means that public money will continue to haemorrhage; CO2 emissions from logging will continue to rise; and precious forests and habitat will continue to be needlessly destroyed, despite the existence of better ways to produce wood products,” said Mr Allen.

For further comment contact Tom Allen on 0434 614 323


28 November 2022

The Wilderness Society (Tasmania) is again taking the Tasmanian Government to court, in an urgent legal action to determine the lawfulness of logging at Mt Tongatabu at Surges Bay by the government-owned logging agency, Sustainable Timber Tasmania (STT).

“We're seeking an urgent preliminary discovery application for documents that we believe could show that logging at Mt Tongatabu is unlawful,” said Tom Allen for the Wilderness Society (Tasmania).

“Until a couple of years ago, these logging documents were routinely uploaded on the STT website but that has since stopped, forcing the public to request them and they are now routinely denied.

“The local community is seeking transparency about this logging but, true to form, they're being treated woefully and their right to know what is happening in local forests, and when, is again being frustrated. It is not good enough that local people are left in the dark, denied information and have logging they don’t want imposed on them.

“Yet again, against the best available scientific evidence, the Tasmanian government continues to log known and established swift waylitja/parrot habitat, which is driving the world’s fastest waylitja/parrot extinct.

“Most of the logging at Mt Tongatabu is for woodchips but it’s impossible for people to tell which products this forest destruction is to make. Toilet paper? Packaging? Furniture? In fact, it’s not just hard for the public to find this out—it’s impossible,” said Mr Allen.

Photo: Local people gathering to oppose logging at Mt Tongatabu | 27 November 2022
Image: Partially-logged coupe, which is located within the Southern Forest Swift Parrot Important Breeding Area (SPIBA)
Photo: Southern Forest Swift Parrot Important Breeding Area (SPIBA) | BirdLife Australia