NEFA STUDY REVEALS 2,500 HA OF OEH PRIORITY KOALA HABITAT LOGGED IN PAST 4 YEARS
MEDIA RELEASE - 15 March 2019
A NEFA study has identified that over the past 4 years the Forestry Corporation has logged 2,500 hectares of Koala habitat delineated by the Office of Environment and Heritage as the highest priority for protection in NSW.
Satellite image of claimed selective logging of a Koala Hub in Wang Wauk State Forest in December 2018. Koalas cannot survive this intensity of logging in their core habitat.
In 2017 the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) analysed Koala records "to delineate highly significant local scale areas of koala occupancy currently known for protection", which they termed Koala Hubs. The NEFA study used monthly satellite images from Planet Explorer to identify those parts of the 18,500 ha of Koala Hubs within native forests on State Forests in NSW that have been logged over the four years 2015 to 2018.
"It was shocking to find that the Forestry Corporation has been targeting the best Koala habitat for logging over the past 4 years at a rate of 636 ha a year" said report author Dailan Pugh.
"Even after OEH identified them as Koala Hubs the Forestry Corporation logged 430 ha last year. This included compartment 233 in Gladstone State Forest near Bellingen that conservationists resorted to blockades to try and stop.
"Current harvesting plans show that many more Koala Hubs are proposed for logging this year.
"It was bad enough that Premier Berejiklian chose to ignore the science by only including 180 hectares of these Koala Hubs within the sham Koala reserves she announced as the centerpiece of her Koala Strategy in May last year.
"It is reprehensible that she has allowed the Forestry Corporation to go on targeting them for logging, including with unlawful intensive logging.
"This Government's contempt for the survival of Koalas in NSW is a disgrace. This has to stop if we want Koalas to survive.
"NEFA calls on the ALP to end this onslaught on Koalas and commit to immediately placing a moratorium on all remaining OEH Koala Hubs on State Forests, along with potential habitat within one kilometre, if they are elected" Mr. Pugh said.
The report "Forestry Corporation Logging of OEH Koala Hubs" is available at https://www.nefa.org.au/koalas