News

Koalas at core of protest

Friends of the Koala president Lorraine Vass and friend.
Friends of the Koala president Lorraine Vass and friend.

Locals including Friends of the Koala president Lorraine Vass took a trip to Grafton for World Forest Day on Monday to join a peaceful protest in front of the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water office and deliver a letter to director general Lisa Corbyn.

North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) spokesperson Dailan Pugh said they had been moved to protest because of continued frustration with DECCW’s administration of private forestry and threatened species licences for public forestry.

“We have particular concerns about the declassification of old-growth forest on private land and logging of core koala habitat around Coffs Harbour,” Mr Pugh said. “With public forests, we are concerned about the poor implementation of threatened species licence requirements and the paltry fines they issue when Forests NSW are caught doing illegal activities.”

Currently when any number of trees have been illegally logged within a compartment it is considered a single breach.

The letter to Ms Corbyn said, “DECCW has failed to enforce Forestry Licence conditions in State Forests. This has resulted in the illegal logging of old-growth, rainforest, Endangered Ecological Communities, stream banks and critical habitat for endangered species... Your department is charged with the care of wildlife and the protection of threatened species, though instead of fulfilling your responsibilities you are overseeing the destruction of irreplaceable environments and the extinction of our most vulnerable species.”

The letter contained demands from NEFA and the North Coast Environment Council that included removal of bio-certification for private native forestry, a return to the requirements of the seven-part test before granting Property Vegetation Plan approvals for logging, independent pre-logging surveys to determine site specific requirements for threatened species, cessation of all logging in core koala habitat and a revoke of all “old growth” reassessments which have recently released more than 8000 hectares from protection through incorrect declassification.

A spokesperson for DECCW said the reason for the reclassification was that the department had “strengthened old-growth forest assessment protocols for private native forestry following an internal quality assurance process”.

Mr Pugh said core koala habitat had been logged around Coffs Harbour.

“Coffs Council mapped core koala habitat and informed DECCW of 200,000 hectares but DECCW just ignored them. Council kept notifying them and DECC just kept on going,” Mr Pugh said.

The spokesperson for DECCW said “the protection of koalas, and all threatened species, is a specific feature of the Private Native Forestry (PNF) Code of Practice and a point of focus for DECCW’s monitoring and audit program”.

The letter also contained a demand that when illegal logging by Forests NSW has been identified that the areas be rehabilitated.

The spokesperson said “any Private Native Forestry operator found to be conducting activities outside the PNF Code of Practice is subject to the appropriate regulatory action which can include a Corrective Action or imposition of a Remediation Notice”.

“At the moment DECCW fines Forests NSW but they don’t have to fix it up, so you get ongoing degradation, so we want them to be required to rehabilitate it, and to require the protection of equivalent compensatory habitat and trees for each area and tree illegally logged,” Mr Pugh said. “We also want all relevant information publicly available on the internet instead of being hidden behind a veil of secrecy.”


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

New lease of life for young kookaburras

FREE TO ROAM: Juvenile kookaburras return to the wild.

WIRES begins the year with kookaburra rescue

Cute Zeus looks like a god but is a goof

I'M YOURS: Zeus - God of Cuteness.

In the Doghouse Column is back

Make sure your business's new year's resolutions are attainable

Open For Business columinst from the LCCI Deborah Benhayon.

Getting your business's goals for 2017 down pat

Local Partners

Jennifer Aniston wants to return to TV

Jennifer Aniston is desperate to make a return to TV

Madonna hopes for election unity

Madonna hopes Donald Trump's election will "bring people together"

JK Rowling rules out Cursed Child trilogy

JK Rowling has ruled out a 'Cursed Child' movie trilogy

Buckley's chance in psychological thriller

James McAvoy and Betty Buckley in a scene from the movie Split.

Broadway veteran back on big screen with James McAvoy

Daniel MacPherson: acting’s a bit like channel surfing

Australian actor Daniel MacPherson in a scene from the American TV series APB.

THE Aussie export talks about making his mark in the US.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Lisa Marie Woodham will be giving readings in Gladstone until Saturday January 21.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

'Difficult times': Rental prices tipped to increase in 2017

GREAT BUYS: There are some great rentals and houses to buy in South Gladstone. Head to gladstoneobserver.com.au for the top 10 homes under $100 to rent right now in the Gladstone region.

Investors may soon see a "profitable return” on properties.

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Pat Rafter's $18m Coast home proves hot property

PAT'S PAD: The Sunshine Beach home of tennis ace Pat rafter is on the market for a record price.

"It's a record for our company and for the Sunshine Coast.''

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!