EPA's WHIAN WHIAN LOGGING FINES PATHETIC AND INEFFECTIVE
MEDIA RELEASE 16/9/2015
Police and forestry discussing tactics to facilitate the illegal logging.
NEFA has described the Environment Protection Authority's (EPA's) issuing of $11,000 fines to the Forestry Corporation for knowingly and illegally constructing a track through the habitats of the Koala and a endangered plant on private land at Whian Whian as pathetic.
NEFA spokesperson, Dailan Pugh, said it is reprehensible that these flagrant breaches occurred after NEFA had requested a Stop Work Order from the EPA and after the EPA had inspected the area. The breaches are of the worst kind because they were done intentionally while under the EPA's supervision.Read more
Conservation groups have thanked NSW Minister for the Environment, Mark Speakman, for making the time to accompany them on a brief tour of north-east NSW's forests, for listening, and for showing interest in their concerns about our ailing public native forests.
On Saturday representatives of the North Coast Environment Council and the North East Forest Alliance took the Environment Minister on a tour of forests at Royal Camp and up the Richmond Range, west of Casino.
In 2014 the NSW Upper House undertook an inquiry into The performance of the NSW Environment Protection Authority, with its terms of reference including (vi) the regulation of forestry practices in Royal Camp State Forest. Today the Government gave its formal response to the inquiry, though they have been reacting for some time. NEFA's submission is available at Performance of the NSW Environment Protection Authority (Inquiry) (vi) the regulation of forestry practices in Royal Camp State Forest
NEFA welcomed the Government's announcement of the allocation of an additional $1.3 million to the EPA for forest compliance, though remains concerned that the most pressing need is for a change of attitude within the EPA, a willingness to take action, and a significant increase in fines to act as a deterrence.
NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said that NEFA is dismayed that the Government's reaction to the exposure of the Forestry Corporation's ongoing destruction of core Koala habitat ,and blatant flouting of environmental laws, in Royal Camp State Forest is to change the laws to reduce protection for Koalas and other threatened species.
NEFA have accused the EPA of intentionally misleading the community by claiming that unmapped streams on State forests in the Richmond catchment are not currently required to be protected by 10m buffers.
"NEFA categorically rejects the EPA's claim that unmapped streams on State forests in the Richmond catchment do not have a 10m buffer applied, and stand by our contention that all mapped headwater streams, and most unmapped ones, are currently legally required to have 10 metre buffers applied", NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh saidRead more
ROW OVER MASSIVE CLEAR-FELL ‘TRIALS’ CONTINUES
Assurances by NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) that ‘all is well’ in the region’s native forests have been rejected, as “not believable, nor based on reality”, North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) spokesperson Mr John Corkill, said today. The comments are the latest in a major public dispute over the EPA’s support for proposed logging “trials” at massively increased levels of intensity.
HARM TO ENVIRONMENT FROM LOGGING ESCALATES UNDER E.P.A.
A vote of ‘no confidence’ in the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has been carried by the North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) following revelations that the EPA propose to approve widespread clear-felling of public forests in north-east NSW, reduce protection of headwater streams, and remove the need to protect habitat for many Threatened species, including the Koala.
Attempts by Ballina Council to protect koala habitat and other high conservation value vegetation have been blocked by the NSW Government.
The North Coast Environment Council and North East Forest Alliance support Ballina Shire Council’s attempts to provide needed regulation of logging on private land.Read more
“The failure of today's deal by the Liberal-National Coalition and the ALP on a Renewable Energy Target to exclude native forests from being fed into power stations is a major blow for both the genuine renewable energy industry and the future health of our region's forests” said NCEC spokesperson Susie Russell.Read more
The North East Forest Alliance has condemned commitments by the Liberal-National Coalition today to repeal the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 and the Native Vegetation Act 2003.
“The proposed changes would be an environmental disaster and setback conservation in NSW 25 years,” said NEFA spokesperson, Dailan Pugh.
A promise to return ‘third party’ legal rights, to allow “any person” to enforce the logging industry’s compliance with environmental laws, made by NSW Labor Leader Luke Foley today, has been welcomed by the North East Forest Alliance, as ‘a necessary measure’, due to what NEFA says is a major breakdown in the regulation of logging in publicly owned native forests in north east NSW.
“In the interests of better forest management we urge Premier Baird to match this promise. The NSW Forestry Corporation has repeatedly broken the rules governing logging, designed to protect streams, soils and threatened species, while the NSW Environment Protection Authority has ‘turned a blind eye’. Allowing independent enforcement is the only way to restore integrity to the system of environmental protection,” North East Forest Alliance spokesperson, John Corkill said today.