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.
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.
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 FrogRead more
… 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.
The Greater Glider is one of the species where a Recovery Plan is required, but nothing gets produced.
Photo by Jasmine Zeleny.
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.Read more
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.Read more
“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.Read more