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Day 5 - MyEnvironment v VicForests Transcript Friday 10 02 2012

As announced cross-examination of Professor Lindenmayer continued this morning. In his responses he underscored the importance of tree hollows in which Leadbeater's Possums spend 75% of their lives. He was quizzed about whether he had carefully read several documents and about why he had not mentioned in his report a study prepared by Jacques Cop. He answered that it wasn't mentioned because it wasn't relevant - it was important to have his own researchers conduct their own measurements. He was also questioned about a statement in an early draft of his report that had been changed in the final version, bringing one of several interventions from Justice Osborn, who explained, "What you are attacking is a statement that hasn't been made, as far as I am concerned." On another occasion Justice Osborn declared a question "not fair" and took exception to the repetitiveness of the examination, saying, "The documents make clear what [Professor Lindenmayer] did - he keeps telling you that."

As in yesterday's evidence, Professor Lindenmayer was impressive with his compendious knowledge of the biology and ecology of Leadbeater's Possum, "a topic with which I have some familiarity," he commented with commendable modesty! At several points he was able to quote authorities and dates, including several of his own publications. Cross-examination finished with confirmation that in assessing the three Toolangi coupes the considerations had been based on hollow-bearing trees, occurrence of Leadbeater's Possum on the coupes, added risk of extinction if the coupes were logged, the presence of Zone 1A habitat and the impacts of coupe edge effects on the persistence of animals.

After a brief re-examination by Ms Walker, Professor Lindenmayer left the witness box just before 1:00 pm, so the court adjourned for lunch.

When we all returned after lunch we were greeted with the surprise announcement that, on the basis that Mr Waller had confirmed during the morning's cross-examination that he didn't, "make any challenge to the veracity of the underlying data," of Professor Lindenmayer's report, My Environment would not seek to call the next two witnesses who had recorded that data in the field. This was confirmed and after some further discussion regarding the further scheduling of the case, the court adjourned at 2:25 pm. The case will continue with the Evidence in Chief of VicForests on Monday morning at 10:30.