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.
Forestry belatedly fined $16,500 for clearing and logging the exclusion zone of Endangered plant in Gibberagee
The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined the Forestry Corporation $16,500 for clearing and logging within an exclusion zone for the nationally Endangered Narrow-leaf Melichrus in Gibberagee State Forest (east of Whiporie) in September 2017, though refuse to acknowledge that it was as a consequence of a NEFA complaint.
The Narrow-leaf Melichrus is named Melichrus sp. gibberagee as it is yet to be formally described. This species was discovered during pre-logging surveys brokered with the Minister for Forests by NEFA in 1997. It is only known from a single population in Gibberagee State Forest, and on adjacent private property. It is now listed as Endangered by both NSW and Commonwealth Governments.Read more
Following the finding of yet more widespread and ongoing breaches of logging laws, the North East Forest Alliance is calling on the Baird Government to restore the rights of the public to take the Forestry Corporation to court to enforce environmental laws,
"If the Baird Government refuses to enforce the logging rules, then let us do it" said NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh.
"For years we have been finding the same sorts of logging offences, time after time after time. The Forestry Corporation are being allowed to flout environmental laws with impunity. The Environmental Protection Authority's (EPAs) lax regulation is clearly not working".
Outcomes of a recent study by the Environmental Protection Authority prove that Koalas have a significant preference for larger trees and more mature forest, with Koala populations found to be collapsing in recently logged areas.
“The Government now has the evidence that logging is bad for Koalas and needs to take immediate action to identify and protect the remaining Koala colonies that are in public forests threatened by logging. Every day that the Forestry Corporation is allowed to go on logging Koala's preferred feed trees brings them closer to extinction. It has to stop now. We call on Premier Mike Baird to urgently intervene to save NSW's Koalas", said NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh.
SOS: Virtual Protection for Virtual Koalas Won't Save a Species
"It beggars belief that money is being spent on models for koalas that ignores whether an area has been logged or not, and the age of the trees in the area concerned. Virtual habitat might be good for virtual koalas, but we want to see actual koalas protected"
NEFA has documented that the Forestry Corporation of NSW have breached the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act by not abiding by a national recovery plan, the National Parks and Wildlife Act by roading and logging the Endangered Ecological Community Lowland Rainforest, as well as committing breaches of 4 conditions of the Integrated Forestry Operational Approval, 41 conditions of the Threatened Species Licence, 19 conditions of the Environment Protection Licence, 7 conditions of the Fisheries Licence and numerous conditions of their own Harvesting Plan.
It took a freedom of information request, by the North Coast Environment Council, but the Environment Protection Authority have finally released the membership of the Threatened Species Expert Panel advising on the re-writing of the logging rules for public forests.
The documents show that far from being independent experts they are Government employees, dominated by current and former employees of Forestry Corp.Read more
ROW OVER MASSIVE CLEAR-FELL ‘TRIALS’ CONTINUES
Assurances by NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) that ‘all is well’ in the region’s native forests have been rejected, as “not believable, nor based on reality”, North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) spokesperson Mr John Corkill, said today. The comments are the latest in a major public dispute over the EPA’s support for proposed logging “trials” at massively increased levels of intensity.
HARM TO ENVIRONMENT FROM LOGGING ESCALATES UNDER E.P.A.
A vote of ‘no confidence’ in the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has been carried by the North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) following revelations that the EPA propose to approve widespread clear-felling of public forests in north-east NSW, reduce protection of headwater streams, and remove the need to protect habitat for many Threatened species, including the Koala.