MEDIA RELEASE - 12 July 2022
NEFA welcomes the EPA prosecuting the Forestry Corporation for illegally felling giant and hollow-bearing trees in Wild Cattle Creek State Forest in 2020, though maintain this area of outstanding Koala habitat should never have been approved by the NSW and Commonwealth Governments for logging.
Enough is enough, logging of public forests has to stop, NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.
“It is reprehensible that the in this day and age that the Forestry Corporation are still cutting down these massive awe-inspiring trees, the height of 10 storey buildings and 300-500 years old, that provide the large hollows that many of our iconic animals depend upon for dens and nests.
“These trees provide essential homes for the nationally Vulnerable Yellow-bellied Glider and Endangered Greater Glider.
“It is a tragedy that this was allowed to occur within an area identified as some of the most important Koala habitat in Australia, because the NSW and Commonwealth Governments changed the logging rules in 2018 to remove the need for pre-logging Koala surveys and allow Koala High Use Areas to be logged” Mr. Pugh said.
MEDIA RELEASE 5 July 2022
The North East Forest Alliance is demanding the Commonwealth urgently remove their approval for the NSW Government to clear and log the homes of Koalas and Greater Gliders now that they have both been listed as nationally Endangered.
The Greater Glider has now been listed by the Federal Government as Endangered because of “an overall rate of population decline exceeding 50 percent over a 21-year (three generation) period, including population reduction and habitat destruction following the 2019–20 bushfires”, the Scientific Committee further noting “cumulative impacts of the 2019-20 bushfires, ongoing prescribed burning, timber harvesting and climate change will continue to put pressure on remaining greater glider habitat. Fire-logging interactions likely increase risks to greater glider populations”.Read more
MEDIA RELEASE 16 June 2022
NEFA welcomes the decision by the Land and Environment Court to impose fines and costs totalling $285,600 on the Forestry Corporation for illegally logging a Koala High Use Area, rainforest and a rainforest buffer in Wild Cattle Creek State Forest.
The Forestry Corporation have got away for too long flouting the logging rules, so it is past-time that they were prosecuted for one example of their illegal activities in north-east NSW’s public forests, NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.
The judgement helps clarify how important the rules are to minimise harm, and in this case why the Government must urgently reinstate protection for Koala High Use Areas and establish wide buffers around all rainforest.
NEFA calls for a reinstatement of the requirement for the Forestry Corporation to undertake pre-logging surveys for Koalas to identify Koala High Use Areas to be excluded from logging in light of the Justice Robson’s finding that the removal of 4 feed trees and construction of logging tracks within a Koala High Use Area would result in actual harm to Koalas.
A giant Koala feed tree illegally logged in Koala habitat in another part of Wild Cattle Creek in 2020 which NEFA are still waiting for legal action on.Read more
NEFA is launching its Save Oldgrowth Trees campaign on Friday to convince the NSW Government to implement its own scientific advice to protect and restore oldgrowth trees throughout State forests in response to the widespread losses of tree hollows in the 2019/20 wildfires that 174 of NSW’s animal species depend on for dens, nests and roosts.
To launch the campaign NEFA are gathering outside the electoral offices of the local members for Tweed, Geoff Provest, and Coffs Harbour, Gurmesh Singh, at 10 am on Friday to press their request that they support the immediate implementation of the NRC recommendations.Read more
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.
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.
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.
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).Read more