After a month of protest, logging has been halted and the machines have left Newry State Forest in what Gumbaynggirr custodian Sandy Greenwood described as a “historic moment”. Jim McIlroy reports.
North East Forest Alliance
Climate Coalition Sydney organised a forum that heard from four union and environmental activists fighting against the Australian government’s fossil fuel expansionism. David Killingly reports.
The North Coast Environment Council (NCEC) has accused the NSW government of trying to keep the public in the dark about its proposals for logging on public land. The proposals include opening state forests to increased logging, zoning 140,000 hectares for clearfelling, removing the need to look for and protect most threatened species before logging, reducing stream buffers and allowing logging in old growth forest.
The NSW Coalition government’s long anticipated Koala Strategy, which was released on May 6, has been condemned as inadequate and doomed to fail by conservation groups, which say it ignores the key threat of habitat loss.
Proposed new logging rules for NSW public land will convert much of the north coast's public forests into “quasi-plantations”, reduce buffers on vital headwater streams and remove protections from most threatened animals and plants.
The proposed changes remove the need to look for and protect most threatened plants and animals. Only 14 animal species and populations are to retain their current protection, 23 will have their protection removed and 26 will have their protection significantly reduced.
Koalas on the NSW North Coast are threatened with extinction by proposed increases in logging intensity and imminent extensions of timber contracts, according to the North East Forest Alliance.
NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said: “In order to meet current wood supply contracts, the NSW Government plans to zone most of the coastal state forests for intensive logging and clearfelling, and to remove the already inadequate protection for core koala habitat.