NSW Court Throws Out Glider Case Over ENGO’s ‘Standing’

Forestry Corporation of NSW is responding to multiple court proceedings and injunctions.

Thu 08 Feb 24


The NSW Land and Environment Court has thrown out a case brought by the South East Forest Rescue (or SEFR) – a local ENGO – against NSW Forestry Corporation yesterday.

Wood Central can reveal that Justice Pritchard determined that the SEFR was without standing – and did not have a right to bring action.

In the ruling obtained from the NSW Government website, Justice Pritchard concluded that “the Court is not satisfied that SEFR has established, even on a prima facie basis, that it has a sufficient particular interest to bring these proceedings to enforce the conditions of the CIFOA (which was changed late last week).

According to a Timber NSW spokesperson, the decision by Justice Pritchard to rule that the SEFR did not have standing was in contrast to the recent North East Forest Alliance Federal Court Case “because they could demonstrate size and scale of their organisation.”

Had SEFR been successful, Justice Pritchard would have decided on a case that would have exempted harvesting in NSW forests where greater, yellow-bellied and squirrel gliders were active. 

image 17
Under the new rules, the endangered Southern Greater Glider will have greater protections, according to the NSW EPA. (Photo Credit: Daily Telegraph).

It comes after the Forestry Corporation reached an agreement with the NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) late last week to amend the site-specific conditions of the Coastal IFOA, which, in effect, recognises landscape protection of Greater Glider dens.

Coming into effect tomorrow (February 9th), endangered Southern Greater Gliders will have greater protection under NSW law.

According to the EPA’s Tony Chappel, the changes protect gliders and other native animals reliant on hollow-bearing trees, such as possums, owls and parrots. “This change means that instead of depending on unreliable point-in-time surveys to find the habitat of the gliders, we will assume the species is present and conserve their habitat.”

“This ensures the critical habitats of some of our most endangered and much-loved native animals are protected,” before adding, “We have reviewed extensive research, sought expert views and believe this change strikes the right balance, resulting in significant ecological and regulatory improvement to the current arrangements.”

Last week, Wood Central spoke to Timber NSW, who said, “The resolution demonstrates that the native forest industry has, and always will be prepared to protect native fauna and flora while still carrying out sustainable operations.”

SEFR was represented by Mark Davis, a Gold Walkley Award-winning journalist who has specialised in several high-profile legal cases – footage courtesy of @SBSDateline.

Forestry Corporation is participating in further court proceedings, responding to additional injunction proceedings, which, if successful, could see it cease harvesting in selected coups.

Timber NSW said the action is “designed to wear down the NSW Premier Minns,” as they did with former Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, “which was to close and relieve themselves of the constant publicity and battering from the ENGOs.”

The new CIFOA requirements include:
  • A 50-metre exclusion zone around known recorded locations of greater glider dens.
  • Protection of extra greater glider trees in addition to existing hollow bearing and giant tree requirements:
    • Six trees per hectare greater than 80cm in diameter in high greater glider density areas, in addition to the eight hollow-bearing trees currently required to be protected.
    • Four trees per hectare greater than 50cm in diameter in lower-density areas, in addition to the eight hollow-bearing trees currently required to be protected.
    • The retention of additional hollows and future hollow-bearing trees in areas where greater gliders are less likely to occur.
  • Greater glider trees must prioritise hollows (especially ones with evidence of use) where they exist.
  • Undertaking a monitoring program to ensure the ongoing effectiveness of these new rules for greater gliders.
  • A new map that shows where these different greater glider areas occur.

Wood Central is a neutral platform and will not take an editorial stance on the court action. However, it invites subject matter experts to provide contributors, who will be fact-checked before publication.


  • Jason Ross

    Jason Ross, publisher, is a 15-year professional in building and construction, connecting with more than 400 specifiers. A Gottstein Fellowship recipient, he is passionate about growing the market for wood-based information. Jason is Wood Central's in-house emcee and is available for corporate host and MC services.


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