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.

Not whether we win or lose, but how we play

Not whether you win or lose but how you play the game.

Could farming the secret to longevity and living to 100?

Reg Allen turns 100 with staff, friends and family at St Joseph's Nursing Home in Lismore.

Gentle man turns 100 with wife by his side.

No chutney and scones on verandah today

Dr Airdre Grant

Life in the country you don't see in the magazines.

Latest deals and offers

The perils of play: How kids are most likely to be hurt

THE thought of your child suffering a life-threatening accident is the stuff of parents’ nightmares.

What price would you put on a kid's 'miracle'?

At nine years of age, Quiń had an accident that caused a cataract to one of his eyes. In an instant; this little boy with his whole life ahead of him faced a future of blindness.

Thousands of Aussies joining campaign to restore sight to kids

Mayor's plan to bring Son of Lismore's cabinet home

TALENTED: Geoff Hannah with Minister For The Arts Mitch Fifield, Jenny Dowell, Kevin Hogan, Thomas George and Brett Adlington at the opening and unveiling of his work at Lismore Regional Gallery.

Mayor Dowell wants famous cabinet for regional gallery

Flood watch issued for Qld, NSW

NSW State Emergency Service warns of heavy rain

Blood-stained clothes seized after axe attack

Lismore Court House.

A landlord has been charged over an axe attack on her tenant

School girl porn ring site goes offline

The Federal Government is yet to confirm if the site has been taken down or simply moved to different offshore servers.

Controversial Australian nude school girl rating site disappears.

John Williamson winding up for another Gympie Muster

John Williamson is bringing some new songs and artists to this year's Muster.

John Williamson is back and ready to put on his best show ever

Twice as much Troy will please country music lovers

CATCH HIM WHILE YOU CAN: Singer Troy Cassar-Daley plans to take some time off to spend with family next year.

TROY Cassar-Daley is releasing a new album and book.

Courtney Stodden gets Reborn Doll

Courtney Stodden is trying to get over her recent miscarriage

Kate McKinnon 'destitute' before SNL

Kate McKinnon says she can't do anything but act

FBI investigating Leslie Jones website hack

The FBI are investigating Leslie Jones' personal website hack

Katy Perry: 'I stay normal with therapy'

Katy Perry says she relies on therapy to help her 'stay normal'

World's highest-paid actor revealed

The highest-paid actors in the world have been revealed

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m