Around the Region Blog - North Coast Environment Council, Inc.

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Will New Private Logging Rules Fail Koalas Again?

For Immediate Release Will new private logging rules fail Koalas again?


New rules proposed for private land logging will result in continued decline of koala populations, particularly in north-east NSW, unless they incorporate the recommendations of the Upper House Koala Inquiry on Private Native Forestry (PNF).

The North Coast Environment Council says that the PNF codes that are currently subject to a five yearly review need to be significantly strengthened to better identify and protect threatened species and their habitats, including koalas.

The release of the new PNF codes of practice are imminent following the recent public submission process. Very little koala habitat is currently protected under the present PNF arrangements and there is little incentive for landholders or loggers to search for and report koalas or other threatened species prior to logging operations.

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Clarence Environment Centre wins prestigious award

At its recent General Meeting, the North Coast Environment Council (NCEC) were honoured to present their prestigious ‘TOGA’ (Triumph Over Greed Award) to John Edwards and the Clarence Environment Centre (CEC) for their work in exposing a number of serious breaches of environmental legislation associated with exploration licenses for copper mining at Cangai near Jackadgery in the Clarence catchment.

As a result of the work of CEC, the NSW Resources Regulator has suspended all operations on two exploration licences held by mining companies Total Mineral Pty Ltd and Total Iron Pty Ltd. Exploration Licences 8625 and 8635 were being operated by Castillo Copper Limited, about 45km northwest of Grafton.


John Edwards and wife Patricia, receive the TOGA on behalf of Clarence Environment Centre.

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Koala 'reserves' substitute spin for science

Documents obtained under Freedom of Information show the NSW Government ignored the advice of its own koala experts when selecting its so-called koala reserves.

“Now we know that the Government had maps of where the koalas actually are... they called them Koala Hubs... and deliberately chose not to protect those areas,” said NCEC Vice-President Susie Russell.


koala baby

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If forests burn, wind and solar miss out


The failure of today's deal by the Liberal-National Coalition and the ALP on a Renewable Energy Target to exclude native forests from being fed into power stations is a major blow for both the genuine renewable energy industry and the future health of our region's forests” said NCEC spokesperson Susie Russell.

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Public Meeting on Logging Changes

Media Release 1/6/2018

North East Forest Alliance

North Coast Environment Council

Public Meeting on Logging Changes

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.


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Real Public Consultation

Real Public Consultation on Weakened Logging Rules

Gov't -nil Conservationists -7

The North Coast Environment Council has accused the NSW Government of trying to keep the public in the dark and attract as little attention as possible for its proposals for public forests to increase logging intensity, zone 140,000 hectares for clearfelling, remove the need to look for and protect most threatened species before logging, reduce stream buffers and open oldgrowth forest up for logging.

“The Government is trying to hide their intent by holding NO public consultations. So the NCEC, North East Forest Alliance and local conservation groups are collaborating in organising public meetings across the region to explain what is proposed to interested community members.

“The first meeting will be on Wednesday May 30, in Port Macquarie at 6.30pm at the CWA Rooms at 11 Horton St.,” said Susie Russell, NCEC Vice-President.

“In the weeks that follow, there will be meetings in Bellingen, Coffs Harbour, Lismore, Kyogle, Byron Bay, Murwillumbah and Nimbin.

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New 'Reserves' a Poisoned Chalice

New 'Reserves' = Less protected areas, more intensive logging and

$$$ to logging corporations

The North Coast Environment Council said it is alarmed that the State Government had declared another 18,000 ha of State Forest is to become reserves, and calls on Environment Minister Upton to immediately rule out opening up currently protected areas to be logged.

“If it was any other Government we'd be over the moon, but we know this is a trick. What hasn't been announced are which areas of protected forest will be made available for logging, what new logging rules, and how much money from the Environment funds will be thrown at the logging companies to sweeten the deal,” said NCEC Vice-President Susie Russell.

One of the species that will be hit hard by logging protected stream  buffers is the Fleay's Barred Frog

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Government War on Environment continues

Scientists are the next casualties …

Malcolm Turnbull's Government has launched yet another offensive on the environment, with the announcement it was sacking dozens of scientists.

“The rivers of cash that the government has to splash around don't extend to environmental protection,” said Susie Russell, North Coast Environment Council Vice-President.

“This will have a significant impact on north coast forests. We have been relying on the Recovery Planning process to guarantee some protection for nationally endangered species. Only last month, NCEC was a signatory (with NEFA, the National Parks Association and the South East Region Conservation Alliance) to a letter to federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg. We pleaded for Canberra to take its environmental responsibilities seriously. We pointed out that the NSW Government was not abiding by Federal Recovery Plans for threatened species.

GG Jasmine Zeleny

The Greater Glider is one of the species where a Recovery Plan is required, but nothing gets produced.

Photo by Jasmine Zeleny.


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Public can have no confidence in so-called logging ‘trial’

Independent field assessment of IFOA trial areas in Styx river state forest, compartment 524 lower north east forestry region, 80 km east of the town of Armidale. 


Logging of drainage depression within 200m of stuttering frog record. Option B. the more conservative protection approach (EPA - Mark-up) Stuttering frog record location is in the top left hand of this photo by Joe Sparks.  The stuttering frog is listed as endangered in NSW.

“The public can have no confidence that anything beneficial for the forests will come from Forestry Minister Niall Blair’s logging ‘trial’”, claimed NCEC spokesperson Susie Russell.

“As always, with State-run forestry, this process lacks transparency and scientific rigour. We believe the whole process is solely aimed at intensifying logging and cutting costs, mainly jobs.

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Conservation groups are calling on the federal environment minister, Greg Hunt, to contribute funds from the Federal Government’s $2.55 billion carbon emissions reduction fund to protecting the Great Koala National Park.

This comes after revelations (The Age 21.1.15) that federal environment minister, Greg Hunt, commissioned a report which found that ending logging in the highland forests north-east of Melbourne, would save about 3.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year which could reap Victoria $30 million a year and achieve 5 per cent of the emissions cuts needed to meet Australia’s carbon reduction target for 2020.

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