Gumbaynggirr custodians stop work in Nambucca State Forest

Gumbaynggirr Custodians in the Nambucca State Forest. Photo: Sandy Jarrett Greenwood

Gumbaynggirr custodians are claiming a hard-fought victory by stopping the NSW Forestry Corporation from logging cultural sites in the Nambucca State forest.

On June 5, lawyer for the Forestry Corporation of NSW David Giles advised that it would cease its work until June 10. This is the first time logging has been stopped since the NSW regional forestry agreement came into force more than 20 years ago.

The stop work allows Gumbaynggirr representatives to file legal proceedings against the Forestry Corporation.

The legal action is aimed at stopping logging within the Nambucca State Forest where sites that hold significant cultural value to the local Gumbaynggirr Nation are being threatened.

Sandy Greenwood, Gumbaynggirr custodian and spokesperson said on June 7 they were concerned about the Forestry Corporation's “lack of transparency” because it had “avoided the Gumbaynggirr community consultation processes and ignored contact and questions from the community”.

“This has been the first positive response from the Forestry Corporation since the protest embassy was set up and the forest blockaded three weeks ago,” Greenwood said.

The camp, which is being led by the Gumbaynggirr community, is being supported by locals and various environmental groups.

“There is wide concern among all participating protestors that the forest is one of the few remaining endangered Koala habitats of its kind in the area,” said a Nambucca forest campaigner.

“This is just the first positive step towards a victory,” other campaigners said, adding that, “It is a strong motivation to continue and grow the campaign to protect Nambucca State Forest.”