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.
"Recent audits by NEFA found that a breeding population of Koalas is widespread in Gibberagee but that the Forestry Corporation are refusing to undertake the pre-logging surveys legally required to identify and protect Koala High Use Areas.
"We have appealed to the Premier, Minister for the Environment and the Environment Protection Authority to intervene to provide Koalas with the protection they are legally entitled to, yet they refuse to.
"It is reprehensible that after we provided both the Forestry Corporation and Environment Protection Authority with evidence of widespread Koala occupancy, they still refused to survey for Koalas, even while the EPA were actively auditing their operations.
"The EPA are just a smokescreen for the Forestry Corporation's illegal logging.
"While we have found these offences are repeated time and time again, at best the EPA wait until the logging is over before issuing totally ineffective warning letters and cautions, while allowing an unrepentant Forestry Corporation to continue its rampage through Koala habitat.
"Such token regulation is unprofessional and ineffective.
"Given that all avenues have failed we call upon Premier Gladys Berejiklian to intervene to stop the logging while there is an independent assessment using a scat detection dog to identify Koala High Use Areas to exclude from logging" Mr. Pugh said.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CALL: 0473345743
NEFA's 'Preliminary Audit of Gibberagee SF Compartments 104, 105, and 106' and 'Supplementary Audit of Gibberagee SF Compartment 104' are available at https://www.nefa.org.au/audits
NEFA most recent request (26 February 2019) to the Minister for the Environment was to stop the ongoing breaches of the Threatened Species Licence (TSL) by immediately stopping works in compartments 104-6 of Gibberagee State Forest until:
The EPA completes its investigations of our complaints.
Koala Mark-up Searches are undertaken in accordance with TSL 5.2.2, Koala High Use Areas identified, and Koala feed trees marked for retention in accordance with TSL 6.14.