Court action launched over endangered glider’s death

Tracey Ferrier |

An environmental group is demanding a halt to logging habitat trees after a greater glider’s death.
An environmental group is demanding a halt to logging habitat trees after a greater glider’s death.

The Federal Court has been asked to halt the destruction of habitat trees across Victoria after an endangered greater glider was found crushed near a firebreak inside a national park.

The Warburton Environment Group has taken action against the Victorian government’s Forest Fire Management unit after the dead glider was found at the base of a fallen tree a fortnight ago.

The unit had been working on firebreaks in the Yarra Ranges National Park at the time.

The group says it reported the presence of a number of greater gliders living in particular trees, but alleges they were destroyed anyway.

Court documents allege the trees were destroyed in contravention of environment laws.

The group is seeking orders prohibiting the logging of habitat trees in all Victorian state forests and national parks.

Warburton Environment president Nic Fox said community groups shouldn’t have to take legal action to prevent the loss of endangered wildlife.

“Logging clearly isn’t finished in Victoria, it’s just business as usual under a different name,” Ms Fox said.

“Even Victoria’s most iconic national parks aren’t safe from the government’s logging industry.”

Endangered greater gliders and critically endangered Leadbeater’s possums were at the centre of legal battles that led to a ban on Victorian native logging from the start of 2024.

Shannon Devenish is the unit’s deputy chief fire officer and says the work that’s occurring in the Yarra Ranges National Park is within the footprint of existing fuel breaks.

“Crews are only treating dangerous trees and clearing encroaching vegetation,” she said in a statement before the court action was announced.

“All standing trees are being retained unless they are deemed unsafe and pose a danger.  

“This work is crucial for reducing bushfire risk and ensuring community safety.”

She said the work was not commercial timber harvesting and careful consideration was given to identifying and protecting environmental values through “an appropriate balance of fire management measures and ecological preservation”.