Victorian logging bans will likely remain in place until the native timber industry is phased out, after an appeal by state-owned forestry company VicForests was thrown out.
VicForests had appealed a Supreme Court decision to halt logging in parts of the state after finding the forestry company failed to adequately survey for protected glider species.
Court of Appeal president Justice Karin Emerton dismissed the appeal alongside Justices Cameron Macaulay and Stephen Kaye, and ordered VicForests to pay court costs.
VicForests said it was disappointed with the appeal outcome and would review the decision in full before making any further comment.
In May, the Victorian state government announced plans to end native timber harvesting by 2024, four years earlier than planned, claiming the sector had become unviable due to ongoing legal action.
VicForests' last annual report recorded a loss of $54.2 million.
Environment East Gippsland and Kinglake Friends of the Forest, which launched the initial court actions, welcomed the decision and called for the creation of more national parks.
"Litigation is an expensive and risky undertaking for small community groups, but our decision to turn to the law has been vindicated," Environment East Gippsland's Jill Redwood said in a statement.
"We hope to see public money, for so long wasted on propping up the logging industry, now invested in restoring the forests for our climate and wildlife."
On Friday, VicForests released an amended timber release plan to support the new transition timeframe, including 184 new logging coupes and 12 coupe boundary changes.
"All timber harvesting and regeneration operations are subject to Victoria's strict environmental regulations, including the State's Forest Management Zoning scheme," VicForests said in a statement.
"VicForests is committed to complying with or exceeding regulatory controls to ensure the sustainable management of forest areas."
Australian Associated Press