Koala Inquiry call for Koala Rescue Welcomed
MEDIA RELEASE - 20 October 2019
The North East Forest Alliance has welcomed the urgent request by the Legislative Council’s Koala Inquiry to the NSW Premier to allow Koala carers into Braemer, Carwong and Royal Camp State Forests to rescue koalas that have survived the fires.
Though the scale of the problem, and the Government's refusal to do anything to rescue Koalas for the past 12 days. demands Government assistance, according to NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh.
Extent of Busby's Creek Fire 19 October, with Koala recordsRead more
The North East Forest Alliance was formed in 1989 as an alliance of groups and individuals from throughout north-east NSW, with the principal aims of protecting rainforest, oldgrowth, wilderness and threatened species. NEFA has pursued these goals through forest blockades, rallies, court cases, submissions, lobbying, and protracted negotiations. Read the history of our first blockade at North Washpool in 1989.
After our second blockade of North Washpool and a court case we stopped logging of mapped rainforest on public lands in 1990. We managed to get rainforest more fully mapped and protected during forest negotiations from 1995-98. (see A Short History of Reserves in North East NSW)
After a blockade and court case over Chaelundi in 1990, and promises of more to come, we forced the NSW Government to establish moratoria over some 180,000 ha of oldgrowth forest until EISs were prepared. We managed to get oldgrowth mapped during forest negotiations from 1995-98, with mapped “high conservation value” oldgrowth protected. In 2003 we had protection extended to cover all mapped oldgrowth stands over 10ha on public land. Wilderness on public land was also protected as part of that process. (see A Short History of Reserves in North East NSW)
After our second and biggest blockade at Chaelundi in 1991, and another court case, we were successful in getting NSW’s first threatened species legislation, the Endangered Fauna (Interim Protection) Act. It took many more blockades, submissions and negotiations to get requirements for fauna and flora surveys and a comprehensive set of prescriptions for public land in 1996-9. Unfortunately they remain inadequate and poorly applied. (see The Battle to Protect Threatened Species)
It took NEFA’s 1992 blockade of a logging operation at Killekrankie in the New England Wilderness to halt horrendous logging and roadworks that were causing massive erosion, and a threatened court case, to force the Government to agree to adopt Pollution Control Licences for State Forests’ operations. Though a comprehensive suite of prescriptions to reduce erosion and protect streams wasn’t finally applied on public lands until 1996-9. Inadequate as they are, the Forestry Corporation was successful in having over 90% of their operations exempted in 2004. (see The Battle to Protect Soils and Streams)
For north east NSW, NEFA were also instrumental in getting the area of national parks and other conservation reserves increased from 968,335ha in 1989 to 2,033,227ha in 2011, an increase of 1,064,892 ha or 110%, with most of this being protected over the period 1995 to 2004. In addition to this, 311,615 ha of State Forest was incorporated into Forest Management Zones (FMZ 1, 2, and 3A) and Special Management Zones which are counted as contributing to the reserve system and protected from logging, bringing the total protected from logging to 1,376,507ha. The proportion of north-east NSW’s land area in reserves has increased from 10% in 1989 to 21% in 2011, with an additional 3% protected from logging in management zones. (see A Short History of Reserves in North East NSW)
There is still a lot to do, north east NSW still does not have an adequate reserve system, attempts to implement ecologically sustainable forestry have failed, forests are being over-logged, weeds and dieback are being spread through our forests, and their carbon stocks depleted.
Following NEFA's finding last Sunday of an exceptional Koala population in Braemar State Forest, south of Casino, NEFA is calling on the Premier to intervene to ensure that the required thorough searches for Koalas are undertaken and all Koala High Use Areas protected.
Koala scats were found under 42 trees in a 3ha area of Braemar State Forest marked up for logging, 81 Koala scats were found under this single tree where none had been found by the Forestry Corporation.Read more
LIBERAL'S KOALA PROMISES TOO LITTLE TOO LATE
MEDIA RELEASE 3/5/2019
NEFA today welcomed the Liberal Party's commitment of $6 million to protect Koalas in north-east NSW's and south-east Queensland as too little too late.
If the Morrison Government really wanted to do something about Koalas then they would amend their Regional Forest Agreements to protect Koala habitat and prepare the required Recovery Plan, NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.Read more
Timber NSW using grossly inflated job and economic impacts to deny Koalas needed protection
MEDIA RELEASE - 21 March 2019
The North East Forest Alliance maintains that Timber NSW's claims of job losses due to the creation of the Great Koala National Park are inflated more than 6 fold and are insignificant compared to the 7,400 jobs they have shed in the past decade.Read more
NEFA STUDY REVEALS 2,500 HA OF OEH PRIORITY KOALA HABITAT LOGGED IN PAST 4 YEARS
MEDIA RELEASE - 15 March 2019
A NEFA study has identified that over the past 4 years the Forestry Corporation has logged 2,500 hectares of Koala habitat delineated by the Office of Environment and Heritage as the highest priority for protection in NSW.
Satellite image of claimed selective logging of a Koala Hub in Wang Wauk State Forest in December 2018. Koalas cannot survive this intensity of logging in their core habitat.Read more
For the sake of Koalas the Forestry Corporation are being asked to reconsider their rejection NEFA's peace offer
The North East Forest Alliance is calling upon the Forestry Corporation to reconsider their refusal to allow NEFA to engage a scat-detection dog to search for Koala High Use Areas in Gibberagee State Forest now that they have suspended logging.
As proven in studies properly trained dogs are the most efficient and effective way to search for Koala scats, said NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh.
"The Forestry Corporation is wrong to assume otherwise.
110 Koala scats were found by NEFA under a single tree in Gibberagee where the Forestry Corporation found none. More than 20 scats is the trigger to undertake intensive surveys to identify Koala High Use Areas, though it was too late as the area had already been logged. This is one of 4 Koala high use trees found by NEFA in a small area where the Forestry Corporation found none.Read more
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
“Stand up for koalas or they won't survive in the wild” is the warning call from the North East Forest Alliance.
“The NSW Government is carrying out a koala extermination program. It really can't be seen as anything else. It is gutting protections for koalas in all the relevant legislation” said Dailan Pugh, NEFA spokesperson.
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.