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.
Githabul Tribe and Conservation Groups Reach Historic Agreement
The Githabul Tribe, Githabul Nation Aboriginal Corporation, Githabul Elders and representatives of conservation groups today launched their Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the management of Githabul Native Title Lands in the upper Clarence and Richmond Rivers.
On 29 November 2007 the Federal Court of Australia made a consent determination recognising the Githabul People’s Native Title rights and interests over 1120 sq km in 9 National Parks and 13 State Forests.
The MoU proposes:
- · Transferring care and control of 29,700ha State Forests for which Githabul Native Title rights are recognised, from the NSW government to the Githabul Tribe.
- · Preparing a comprehensive Plan of Management to safeguard conservation and cultural values and prioritise rehabilitation works.
- · Achieving an adequately funded comprehensive 15 year rehabilitation plan to arrest and repair forest dieback as part of a Githabul caring for country program.
- · Creating more NPWS positions and training for Githabul Working on Country in National Parks in the Kyogle area.
- · Transferring the care and control of Crown lands around the Tooloom Falls Aboriginal Place to the Githabul Tribe.
- · Promoting the establishment of a Cultural and Tourism Centre at Roseberry Creek.
- · Obtaining World Heritage Listing for the National Parks in the region.
FRAUDULENT TIMBER SHORT-FALL USED TO JUSTIFY LOGGING OF ENVIRONMENT AREAS AND OLDGROWTH FOREST
The North East Forest Alliance has accused the NSW Government of fraudulently claiming a shortfall in high quality logs available from State Forests in north-east NSW to justify their wind-back of environmental protections and intention to log oldgrowth forest and rainforest.
NEFA today released a review of timber yields and modelling for north-east NSW over the past 20 years that has identified a number of serious problems with yield estimations and allocations from the region that will be referred to the Auditor General.
Photo: oldgrowth tree -one of thousands to be made 'available for logging' under the new logging rules.