So, the Bob Brown Foundation’s “Great Forest Case” has been fought, and lost. But what does this decision by the High Court to reject the foundation’s application for leave to appeal an earlier Federal Court judgement in favour of Sustainable Timber Tasmania and in general the strength of the Regional Forest Agreement mean.
For a start, it can be imagined that the timber industry will be heaving a huge sigh of relief.
If the case had gone ahead, and if the foundation had been successful, it would have caused chaos in the timber industry across the country at the RFA’s in each state were challenged.
Not a pleasant scenario. So, relief all round.
Secondly, the defeat with the High Court ruling could prove very damaging to the foundation in terms of its credibility which in turn could make it difficult to raise funds.
And it will need funds as the costs for the application to appeal have been awarded against the foundation. No amount has been mentioned as yet; that’s for another day.
But will it stop the foundation? Of course not.
The foundation sees its “Great Forest Case” as having an excellent outcome because logging was halted “in swift parrot habitat on Tasmania’s Eastern Tiers in October 2020”.
Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Senator Jonno Duniam had a different and more direct view of the outcome. He described the case as simply being dead in the water.
It’s a fair bet the protests will continue, and Dr Brown and his followers will be hauled off to court again.
They already have a date to attend the Hobart Magistrates Court next month after being arrested while halting logging.