The North East Forest Alliance, North Coast Environment Council and local groups are hosting a series of public meetings to inform the community about the New South Wales and Commonwealth Government's proposals to change the rules governing logging of public lands to remove protections for most threatened species, open up protected oldgrowth forest for logging, allow intensified logging, establish a clearfelling zone, and reduce buffers on headwater streams.
"Because they have allowed logging to remove more sawlogs that can be sustained, and the spreading logging dieback is rendering forests increasingly unproductive, the State and Commonwealth Governments have cut environmental protections to the bone and are now intending to start logging oldgrowth forests protected for the past 20 years" NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.
"They are removing the need to look for Koalas before logging and protect high use areas.
"In coastal forests south from Grafton they intend to start clearfelling 45ha patches over 140,000 ha of public forests, elsewhere they intend to require the minimal retention of 10-12 square metres of tree basal area in each hectare logged.
"The reduction in buffers on our vital headwater streams will have major ramifications for the health of our rivers. They need repair not increased degradation.
"It is truly reprehensible that the Governments are going to allow ongoing logging of dieback forests, dominated by dead and dying trees over seas of lantana, instead of rehabilitating them.
"We urge the community to come to our information sessions to learn what the Governments have in mind for your public forests. This is the last chance for the community to have its say before the new regime is locked in for the next 20 years.
"The Governments are not consulting the community, so this is the only chance to find out what they are intending for public lands. Our first meeting at Port Macquarie on Wednesday was a great success, with the 80 attendees shocked with what is proposed", Mr. Pugh said.
CONTACT: Dailan Pugh 66 807063
The community meetings will be held at:
Bellingen - Sunday June 3, 3pm, Bellingen Memorial Hall
Kyogle - June 5, 5.30 pm, Kyogle Memorial Hall
Murwillumbah - Wednesday 6 June, 6pm.,Tweed Valley Uniting Church Hall
Nimbin - Wednesday, June 13th, 6 pm, Birth and Beyond
Coffs Harbour Thurs June 14, 6:30pm, Cavanbah Centre
Lismore - Tuesday, June 19th, 5:30 pm, Workers Club