NEW NSW LOGGING laws will destroy thousands of hectares of old growth and diverse publicly-owned native forest. Habitat for native species, some already endangered will go too.
(Ed note: With an election on the horizon, voters who care might like to know how other parties stand on protecting native species of all kinds. Ask them.)
NSW Nature Conservation Council CEO Kate Smolski said: “These measures will trash many of the last refuges on earth for an astonishing array of species. Premier Gladys Berejiklian has effectively signed a death warrant for thousands of forest-dwelling animals like koalas, quolls and owls.”
The new Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals will:
- Increase logging intensity throughout public native forests, including legalising high-intensity clearfell logging in 140,000ha of forests between Taree and Grafton, enabling clear-felling of areas up to 45ha in one go. This will convert biologically complex, natural forests into monocultures and destroy 43% of the mapped high-quality koala habitat on state forests.
- Open previously protected old-growth forest to logging by ‘remapping and rezoning’ these high-conservation-value areas. Old-growth forests are rare, harbour the last big old trees and provide vital refuges for threatened species, including large owls and gliders.
- Remove the requirement to look for koalas before logging on the North Coast and implement utterly inadequate tree retention rates practically guaranteeing koalas will die in logging operations and hastening their slide towards extinction.
- Allow the logging of giant trees up to 160cm diameter (five metres circumference) so the big trees made available from reduced stream buffers and rezoned old growth can be exploited.
No Great Koala National Park from this Coalition of Liberals and Nationals
NSW National Parks Association CEO Alix Goodwin states: “The government has made the astonishing choice to implement an intensive harvesting zone that will kill koalas and destroy their habitat, rather than create the Great Koala National Park that would protect their habitat and allow their numbers to recover. That choice will not be forgotten easily.
“Little wonder a comprehensive community survey showed strong public opposition to native forest logging throughout Australia.
“An industry that is clearfelling koala and glider habitat and wants access to protected forests is an industry nobody wants or needs.”
Aged trees under threat of logging in the NSW National Parks between Grafton and Taree.
IMAGE: Nymboi-Binderay National Park, South of Grafton. Peter Woodard, Public Domain.