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Day 4 - MyEnvironment v VicForests Transcript Thursday 09 02 2012

After the usual 'housekeeping' tasks (corrections to transcripts etc.), Professor David Lindenmayer took the  stand to give his awaited evidence for the plaintiff.

As expected, David's evidence was rigorous, objective and thorough and Ms. Walker led him very systematically through his report. After 28 years of research on the ecology of the Central Highlands wet forests, his expertise and depth of knowledge shone through as he described the extent of transformation and disturbance he has witnessed and recorded. He carefully outlined his deep concerns for the future of Leadbeater's Possum and their forest habitat. Following the 2009 wildfires the population on Lake Mountain is now locally extinct (the last three surviving animals have been taken into captivity). Professor Lindenmayer explained we just don't know how well the species will deal with the projected population bottleneck. 

Under cross-examination (after lunch) he patiently explained several times that his research team doesn't use the terms 'mature' and 'senescent' as they are not sufficiently rigorous terms for such work. He stressed his deep concern with producing high quality science. He was repeatedly asked, looking at photographs, to confirm that the trees shown were 1939 regrowth or other specific age classes, which he was unable to do. He explained several times that such determinations require seeing the tree in the field and in context.