DSE - prosecuting while being prosecuted

20 August 2012

View through the log grabberIt reads like a silly Monty Python sketch, but this absurdity is real.

On 6th August the Department of Sustainability and Environment was to be in court prosecuting VicForests for criminally logging rainforests at Murrungowar in East Gippsland.

In a curious paradox, EEG served papers on DSE for not adhering to rainforest protection laws just three days before. That is - DSE is being sued for not protecting rainforests while at the same time DSE was to prosecute VicForests for logging rainforests.

But what has happened - for at least the 4th time - is the DSE vs VicForests case has been adjourned. This time until 1st August 2013. We hear they've come to some type of 'out of court settlement'. We can be sure that this Baillieu govt is doing its darnedest to ensure the VicForests illegal logging record isn't further highlighted by court proceedings. We were hoping they'd be marched off to the dungeon in leg chains, but are free to keep at it.

The EEG vs DSE case should be heard in the Melbourne Supreme Court in November later this year.

EEG initially began proceedings to sue VicForests last December/January over 14 areas of rainforest it planned to or has already clearfell. These 14 areas support/supported nationally significant rainforest in East Gippsland. We have now joined DSE into the case as we believe DSE is the authority which should have by law mapped and protected all Sites of National Significance for Rainforest. They are still suing VicForests as being the agent which is doing the damage (and can read the regulations as well as any of us).

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