Rocky day for EPA as court rules on ‘cliff’

The rock feature at the centre of a Land and Environment Court hearing between the EPA and Forestry NSW. Image: Annexure A, NSWLEC 10
The rock feature at the centre of a Land and Environment Court hearing between the EPA and Forestry NSW. Image: Annexure A, NSWLEC 10

A ruling over what constitutes a cliff fell in Forestry’s favour last month as the Land and Environment Court dismissed a charge levelled by the Environment Protection Authority.

The matter was heard in the LEC in August 2017 and Justice Robson’s findings handed down on February 16.

The charge referred to an alleged breach of Forestry NSW’s threatened species licence and how it related to work near a “cliff” in the Badja State Forest, north-west of Cobargo.

Forestry NSW contested the charge, with its defence focusing on the definition of a cliff as “a rocky slope”, rather than the EPA prosecutor’s line of a “rock feature that slopes”.

The “cliff” questioned was in fact a large single boulder and in Forestry’s opinion, “a sloping rock” not a rocky slope.

Justice Robson stated in his finding that Forestry’s interpretation “was the less strained of the two” and there were no grounds to include the rock formation in the definition of a cliff.

However, he did not enter formal orders, standing the matter over until March 16 to enable the EPA to submit any question of law to be determined by the Court of Criminal Appeal if it so wished.

This story Rocky day for EPA as court rules on ‘cliff’ first appeared on Bega District News.

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