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.Read more
For the sake of Koalas the Forestry Corporation are being asked to reconsider their rejection NEFA's peace offer
The North East Forest Alliance is calling upon the Forestry Corporation to reconsider their refusal to allow NEFA to engage a scat-detection dog to search for Koala High Use Areas in Gibberagee State Forest now that they have suspended logging.
As proven in studies properly trained dogs are the most efficient and effective way to search for Koala scats, said NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh.
"The Forestry Corporation is wrong to assume otherwise.
110 Koala scats were found by NEFA under a single tree in Gibberagee where the Forestry Corporation found none. More than 20 scats is the trigger to undertake intensive surveys to identify Koala High Use Areas, though it was too late as the area had already been logged. This is one of 4 Koala high use trees found by NEFA in a small area where the Forestry Corporation found none.Read more
For the sake of Koalas NEFA urges the Forestry Corporation to accept their peace offer of engaging a scat detection dog
MEDIA RELEASE - 6 March 2019
Forest protectors stopped logging of Koala habitat for a second day in Gibberagee State Forest on Tuesday before leaving the forest, though will return if the Forestry Corporation continue to refuse to undertake the legally required pre-logging surveys for Koalas necessary to identify and protect Koala High Use Areas.
As on Monday, four people locked-on to logging machinery again on Tuesday morning.
"NEFA is determined to force the Forestry Corporation to look before they log, and to protect Koala High Use Areas, as required by their Threatened Species Licence, NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.
People gathering as Premier asked to require an independent assessment using a scat detection dog to find and protect Koala High Use Areas.
MEDIA RELEASE - 4 March 2019
People are again gathering in Gibberagee State Forest (east of Whiporie) this morning to express their concerns over illegal logging of Koala habitat, and appeal to Premier Berejiklian to ensure an independent assessment using a scat detection dog is undertaken to look for and protect Koala High Use Areas.
People are protesting the refusal of the NSW Government to implement the minimal legal requirements to minimise impacts on Koalas from logging. Someone has to uphold the law when the Government refuses to, said NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh.
Last Wednesday NEFA agreed to call off an action in Gibberagee State Forest (near Whiporie) in return for the Forestry Corporation's promise that within a week a joint inspection with NEFA, and the EPA if they agreed, would be undertaken to inspect the breaches NEFA had documented, now the Forestry Corporation have reneged and refuse to grant access for NEFA to the closed area at Gibberagee to show either the EPA or themselves the breaches.
"The Forestry Corporation cannot be trusted to honour their word. This breach of trust will not be forgotten", said NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh.
"NEFA considers it outrageous that we are once again denied the chance to show these Government bodies the numerous breaches of the Threatened Species Licence we have found.
"What concerns us most is that based on past experience the illegal logging will continue unabated while the EPA waits for years before verifying our complaints and at best giving the Forestry Corporation meaningless warning letters and cautions.
"Our intervention this time was aimed at trying to highlight the problems to bring this ongoing illegal logging to an end, while ensuring that the Koalas and 8 threatened hollow-dependent animals in the area get the minimal protection they are legally entitled to.
"This attempt has obviously failed", Mr. Pugh said.
Dailan Pugh reaches an understanding with Forestry Corp... that they have now reneged on!
Forest protector and forest friend. Animls like the Yellow-bellied Glider need old forests with tree hollows to nest in.Read more
YOUR TAXES AT WORK!
NEFA are taking action today to bring to public attention the destruction of koala homes by the Government-owned logging corporation. NEFA has obtained satellite imagery showing the destruction of an Area of Local Koala Significance, known as a Koala Hub, in Wang Wauk State Forest on the mid-north coast.
NEFA spokesperson Susie Russell called it a crime against the future.
Koala protectors at Wang Wauk State Forest in February 2019
EPA ENCOURAGES ILLEGAL LOGGING BY REPEATEDLY LETTING FORESTRY OFF
The North East Forest Alliance is claiming there is no justice for forests after the EPA on Wednesday confirmed numerous breaches of the Forestry Corporation's Threatened Species Licence in Gibberagee State Forest (east of Whiporie) but yet again issued useless cautions and warnings rather than fines and prosecutions for these serial offenders.
"Over the past decade NEFA have exposed the Forestry Corporation committing thousands of legal breaches of their environmental obligations, with the EPA confirming hundreds more breaches in the last few months from NEFA's audits of Gibberagee and Sugarloaf State Forest", said NEFA Spokesperson Dailan Pugh.
"Yet the EPA have never taken the Forest Corporation to court, despite commitments to do so, and in January 2016 they made the political decision not to issue fines.
"With no consequences for their blatant breaches of environmental laws, is it surprising that the Forestry Corporation repeat them time and time again?
"If you or I went around illegally cutting down oldgrowth trees (hundreds of year old), clearing rainforest, and bulldozing roads through exclusions around threatened plants time and time again we would be put in jail, but the Forestry Corporation don't even get a fine.
"The EPA's regulation of the Forestry Corporation is farcical, though the biggest problem is that by their refusal to take meaningful regulatory action the EPA are fostering what Justice Pepper2 described in 2011 as "a reckless attitude towards compliance with its environmental obligations" Mr. Pugh said.
The North East Forest Alliance describes the final logging rules for public forests released today as a disaster for oldgrowth forests, rainforest, river health, threatened species, Koalas, and global warming.
The Governments' decision remains as it was always intended, they have increased logging intensity throughout State Forests, established a 140,000ha clearfelling zone from Taree to Grafton, reduce stream buffers, removed most wildlife protections, and intend to open up oldgrowth forests and rainforests for logging, said NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh.
"The removal of the need to look for and protect Koala High Use Areas ahead of logging, and to increase logging intensity in their habitat will likely lead to the extinction of this Australian icon, along with many of its compatriots.
The evidence is clear from a recent industry survey of over 12,000 Australians that the logging of public native forests has no social license, and rather than logging of public native forests being entrenched for a further 20 years it must be phased out as soon as possible according to the North East Forest Alliance.
The Forestry and Wood Products report "Community perceptions of Australia’s forest, wood and paper industries: implications for social license to operate" surveyed over 12,000 people from throughout Australia and found 70% of urban, and 65% of rural Australians find logging of native forests unacceptable, compared to just 10% of urban, and 17% of rural Australians finding it acceptable.
The North East Forest Alliance claims that identification of priority Koala habitat for protection undertaken by the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), and released under a freedom of information request, proves that the NSW Government's Koala Reserves are a sham. They assert It does however provide a sound scientific basis to progress meaningful protection for Koalas that should not have been ignored.
"The released data confirms that most of the NSW Government's Koala Reserves are a sham. with no scientific basis and often no Koalas. It is disgraceful that the detailed Koala habitat assessments undertaken for the Koala Strategy by the Office of Environment and Heritage were ignored" NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.
"If the Premier has any genuine concerns for the plight of Koalas she must urgently establish a moratorium from logging over the 20,000 ha of clusters of resident Koala populations, along with appropriate buffers, identified on State Forests until further assessments are undertaken to identify boundaries of koala usage and determine meaningful climate-resilient koala reserves",
"Now that it has been exposed the NSW Government has no excuse to go on ignoring its own expert advice" Mr Pugh said.