Nationals’-led forestry portfolio in charge, EPA ‘toothless tiger’?
LABOR CANDIDATE FOR Monaro Bryce Wilson has expressed his support for the Friends of Mongarlowe River’s efforts to stop old-growth native-forest logging next to the historic Corn Trail east of Braidwood.
Locals with ecological expertise fear the logging will kill endangered Greater Gliders, and charge that proper procedure in regard to endangered species protection has not been followed.
RELATED BACK STORY:
• Corn Trail logging endangers Greater Gliders
Wilson said it is not good enough for the Coalition’s EPA to tell the Friends that it is writing ‘please explain’ letters to the NSW Forest Corporation while reportedly logging continues through the rainforest gully below the Greater Gliders nest.
With the NSW election on 23 March, Wilson said if Labor is elected, action to halt logging as required for endangered species protection should be a priority before it is too late for the animals.
He noted that the current Member for Monaro and National Party leader John Barilaro has pledged to stand with the community on this issue, but will there be follow through? “We have heard this before from John. Whether it’s on council amalgamations or cyanide mining at Major’s Creek or a host of other promises, action has not followed in Sydney.”
In NSW, the National Party has carriage of most portfolios affecting natural systems, including water, lands and forests under the umbrella of Primary Industries led by Deputy Premier Barilaro.
In late February Friends of the Mongarlowe River called upon the NSW Environmental Protection Agency to place an immediate stop-work order on the logging operation in logging Compartment 517, adjacent to the Corn Trail and the Buckenbowra River citing:
- Breaches in compliance with the pre-logging and pre-roading wildlife survey requirements; significant flaws were found in surveys and a factual error in the reported results which doubles the estimated density of Greater Gliders in Compartment 517.
- Recent sightings of the Greater Glider, listed a protected species; and
- the rapid progress of logging which appears to be approaching the location of recent Greater Glider sightings putting them in imminent danger.
Friends of Mongarlowe River convenor Harry Laing said where clear breaches in compliance the EPA should be applying a stop work order not writing letters.
Most recently the Friends were told that the NSW Forestry Corporation claimed not to have received any letters.
“The Banking Royal Commission clearly demonstrated the damage that’s done when we have toothless regulators. Is the NSW EPA a toothless tiger too? The EPA must place a Stop Work Order on the Corn Trail logging, compliance issues don’t just stop in caretaker period. John Barilaro’s letter to [fellow National] Paul Toole, NSW Minister for Lands and Forestry must be acted on.”
MAIN: Greater Gliders in Victorian forests are also losing habitat due to logging.
Source @VICWOTCH Facebook page.