New PNF Codes fail threatened species

MEDIA RELEASE 3 May 2022

NEFA considers that that the new Private Native Forestry Code of Practice released on Monday is a step backwards, and will increase the extinction risk of our most imperilled species of plants and animals.  

In general they are allowing increased logging intensity, reduced retention of old hollow bearing trees essential for the survival of a plethora of hollow-dependent species, and reducing protections for most threatened species, NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.

“Under this code most threatened species of plants and animals will get no real protection what-so-ever.

“The only improvement is an increase in the exclusions around headwater streams, though at 10m this is still dramatically less than the 30m identified as necessary in numerous reviews.

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Rally to Protect Public Forests

NEFA will be holding a rally from 10.30 - 11.30am on Friday 29 April , outside the Coffs Harbour Council Chambers, before the Coffs Harbour hearing of NSW Upper House, Portfolio Committee 4, 'Inquiry into the long term sustainability and future of the timber and forest products industry'.

NEFA want to emphasise to the Committee that there is no social license for the continued logging of public native forests and that in the midst of the developing climate and extinction crises we need to take urgent action, with the most effective action we can take immediately to begin to address the problems is to stop logging public native forests, NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.

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NSW Koala Strategy fails Koalas

MEDIA RELEASE 9 April 2022

The NSW Government’s Koala Strategy released today will do little to turn around their extinction trajectory as it is not stopping logging and clearing of Koala habitat which, along with climate heating, are the main drivers of their demise.

“The Strategy proposes nothing to redress the logging of Koala habitat on public lands where at best 5-10 small potential Koala feed trees per hectare need to be protected in core Koala habitat, with the only other requirement being to wait for a Koala to leave before cutting down its tree” NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.

“We know that Koalas preferentially choose larger individuals of a limited variety of tree species for feeding, and losses of these trees will reduce populations. So protecting and restoring feed and roost trees is a prerequisite for allowing populations to grow on public lands.

“The most important and extensive Koala habitat we know of in NSW is in the proposed Great Koala National Park, encompassing 175,000 hectares of State Forests south of Grafton and west of Coffs Harbour.

“Similarly on the Richmond River lowlands the most important and extensive area known is the proposed Sandy Creek Koala Park, encompassing 7,000 ha of State Forests south of Casino.

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NEFA challenge to the North East NSW Regional Forest Agreement in court on Monday.

NEFA’s court case ‘North East Forest Alliance Inc v Commonwealth of Australia & State of NSW’ challenging the extension of the North East NSW Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) will be heard in the Federal Court of Australia before Justice Perry on the 28 and 29 of March. NEFA’s challenge is being run by the Environmental Defenders Office.

NEFA is challenging the 2018 decision to extend the North East RFA, effectively indefinitely, largely based on the Comprehensive Regional Assessment (CRA) undertaken in 1997 and 1998, without a new assessment.

“Should we win, the North East NSW RFA will no longer exempt logging operations from assessment and approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, or exempt wood from the requirements of the Export Control Act 2020, with potential ramifications for all other RFAs, NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.

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North East Forest Alliance Statement for International Day of Forests

On International Day of Forests it is essential that we recognise that forests support our civilisation, climate and biodiversity. Forests are under unprecedent threat due to increasing droughts, heatwaves, wildfires and floods. At the very time we need them to take our carbon out of the atmosphere and store it safely in their wood and soils, and to mitigate flooding by storing and slowing the water during extreme rainfall events.

Big old trees are awesome, hundreds of years old, towering 8-12 stories high, apartment complexes for hollow-dependent animals with larders for Koalas, gliders, possums and a multitude of honeyeaters.

Forests improve our health, generate rainfall, cool the land, regulate streamflows, sequester and store carbon, reduce flood risk by storing water and slowing flows, reduce landslips by reinforcing soils, and support most of our biodiversity.

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Plea to Premier to intervene to stop 5 year extension of Wood Supply Agreements

MEDIA RELEASE 15 March 2022

The North East Forest Alliance is calling on Premier Dominic Perrottet to block the imminent 5 year extension of north coast Wood Supply Agreements because of the massive loss of resources in the 2019/20 fires, the increased need to protect fire refuges for affected Koalas, the need to restore hollow-bearing trees, and the urgency of protecting forests as carbon sinks to mitigate climate heating.

In the 2019/20 wildfires 49% of north-coast State Forests burnt causing the deaths of millions of trees and animals, yet contrary to their own evidence and advice the NSW Government is intending to continue cutting down trees and destroying animal’s homes as if nothing happened, said NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh.

“In response to a question from Justin Field the Forestry Corporation revealed they are in the process of extending Wood Supply Agreements for north coast public forests, issued in 2003 for 20 years, unaltered for a further 5 years (1).

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Forest Corpse are trashing the ecological and aesthetic values of the Cherry Tree Road

The Cherry Tree Road was formally recognized as an area of Aesthetic value by the CRA Cultural Heritage Working Group during the Comprehensive Regional Assessment (CRA) in the late 1990’s.

While many people assume that Cultural Heritage is primarily about Indigenous values, our Cultural Heritage also includes non-Indigenous values such as historic, scientific, social and aesthetic values which also can qualify for protection under the State Heritage Act.

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Morrison must change his logging approval to protect Endangered Koalas in Yarratt State Forest

MEDIA RELEASE 28 February 2022

The North East Forest Alliance is calling on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to intervene to stop logging of important Koala habitat in Yarratt State Forest near Wingham in accordance with the June recommendations of the Natural Resources Commission and the Commonwealth’s February Conservation Advice for now Endangered Koalas.

As a signatory to the North East NSW Regional Forest Agreement, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has responsibility for NSW’s refusal to protect important Koala habitat on State Forests, and must modify his approval to provide rapidly declining Koala populations with the protection they urgently need, said NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh.

Koala habitat Yarratt SF

DPI Forestry’s Koala habitat ranking, OEH Koala Hubs and Koala records in Yarratt State Forest.

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Dismay over Government’s rejection of inquiry recommendation to stop burning native forests for electricity.

Conservation groups are dismayed by the NSW Government’s rejection of the recommendations of the parliamentary inquiry 'to prevent the burning of wood from native forests to generate energy' and exclude its being classed as renewable energy.

Contrary to the Government’s claims of moving to net zero carbon and doubling Koala populations, burning native forests for electricity puts us and Koalas on an extinction trajectory, said North East Forest Alliance spokesperson Dailan Pugh.

The recent NSW parliamentary inquiry into ‘Sustainability of energy supply and resources in New South Wales’ found the burning of forest biomass for power generation is “not economically or environmentally sustainable, and it generates significant carbon emissions”, recommending “the government takes steps to declassify forest biomass as a form of renewable energy and ensure it's not eligible for renewable energy credits”.

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Morrison’s $50 million pledge for Koalas a smokescreen

MEDIA RELEASE 30 January 2022

Scott Morrison announcement of $50 million for Koalas is a smokescreen to cover-up his Government’s approval for increased logging and clearing of Koala habitat, while allowing climate heating to run amok, threatening the future of both Koalas and the Great Barrier Reef, according to the North East Forest Alliance.

“Without good policies on habitat protection and climate change no amount of money will save Koalas, said NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh.

“If Scott Morrison was fair dinkum about protecting Koala habitat the first thing he would do is to stop their feed and roost trees being logged and cleared. Money is no good for Koalas if they have nowhere to live.

“The second is to take urgent and meaningful action on climate heating, as Koalas and their feed trees have already been decimated by intensifying droughts and heatwaves in western NSW, and bushfires in coastal areas.

“If the Morrison Government doesn’t take urgent action on climate heating then neither Koalas nor the Great Barrier Reef will have a future.

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