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Logging plans halted

Brownarrest

Environmentalists are claiming a small win after Forestry Tasmania agreed to stop logging in 30 coupes while a Federal Court challenge is underway.

The state-owned logger - officially known as Sustainable Timber Tasmania - had already agreed to stop work in 19 coupes from October.

Some of the sites are as large as 400 hectares in Tasmania's Eastern Tiers, which the Bob Brown Foundation argues is essential breeding and feeding grounds for the critically endangered Swift Parrot. 

The two parties reached the agreement on Thursday, avoiding the need for an additional hearing on Monday to determine an injection application.

“This is a temporary reprieve for this extraordinary bird, the fastest parrot on Earth,” Bob Brown said in Hobart today.

“We now await the finding of the full bench of the Federal Court, due in coming weeks, on our primary case that the Regional Forest Agreement which has allowed the logging of Swift Parrot habitat in Tasmania, is illegal.”

Dr Brown himself is due to face court on March 31, after being arrested and charged with trespass during protest action at one of the coupes before Christmas. 

An affidavit from conservation ecologist Matthew Webb submitted on behalf of the BBF case details seeing swift parrots in two Eastern Tiers coupes set to be chopped down. 

The Federal Court is expected to reach a decision next month.