16.8 C
Byron Shire
May 11, 2021

Forests NSW ‘destroyed evidence’: NEFA

Latest News

Water outage in Ballina this Thursday

Residents on Crane and Owen Streets in Ballina are advised of a planned water outage this Thursday May 13.

Other News

‘Natural’ cruelty

Richard Swinton, Clunes While I agree with Desmond Bellamy’s concerns about animal cruelty, the issue of ‘natural’ cruelty if the...

Jonson Street bus shelter gone and an era ended

Byron Shire Council says that the wooden bus shelter on Jonson Street outside the Byron Visitors Centre is being removed today with all bus services operating from the new bus interchange on Butler Street in Byron Bay

Government fails to support dying at home in Northern Rivers

Approaching the subject of dying is always tricky, often awkward, and never easy. But when you are faced with caring for someone at the end of their life, it helps if you can find support from people who have already navigated the path.

Cocaine bust in Byron Shire, 7 men arrested

Police say two separate investigations into the ongoing supply of cocaine in the Byron Bay area have led to charges against seven men.

Rous County Dam

Jo Faith, Newtown Strong objections to the proposed development of this dam have been articulated by the Indigenous Heritage First...

Ballina Dragons’ great results at Urunga

The Ballina Dragon Boat Racing Club is a group of paddling people from all walks of life who enjoy being out on the water having fun and keeping fit.

Despite comments by forestry officials last week, an audit of Forests NSW’s koala assessment in Royal Camp State Forest undertaken by the North Eastern Forest Alliance (NEFA) shows that they are still failing to thoroughly search for evidence of koalas, identify high-use koala-feed trees and delineate koala high-use areas.

NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said that further work by NEFA on a koala high-use area in Royal Camp State Forest last Thursday 9 August has identified at least 23 koala high-use trees, with evidence of use by mothers and their young, over an area of about four hectares.

‘When we undertook our first inspection, Forests NSW had not identified a single high-use tree, and even after two days of auditing they had only managed to identify seven koala high-use trees, less than a third of what we found in a few hours. It is clear that they are still not bothering to thoroughly search for koala faecal scats.

‘NEFA is also demanding that Forests NSW apologise to the public for falsely claiming last Tuesday that they hadn’t actually moved into the koala high-use areas identified to them by NEFA.

‘We also found that since our complaint Forests NSW has burnt off substantial parts of the logged area of Compartment 15, thereby destroying the evidence of any remaining koala scats in those areas and any further evidence of licence breaches. Surely it is wrong to destroy evidence while an investigation is underway,’ Mr Pugh said.

‘The specific high-use trees we had clearly identified to Forests NSW the day before had tracks and logging debris pushed amongst them. Our further assessment has proven that at the time we made our complaint Forests NSW had intruded into this high-use area in three places and cut down at least one koala-feed tree.

‘They had done all the assessments they intended and the whole area would have been logged by now if NEFA had not intervened.

‘Identification and protection of koala high-use areas is essential for the survival of koalas in this region.

‘We have no faith that Forests NSW or the Environment Protection Authority have the expertise or the will to accurately delineate koala high-use areas in Royal Camp State Forest and we repeat our request for an independent assessment by a koala expert.

‘We are particularly concerned that the EPA allowed Forests NSW to resume logging in one compartment without bothering to first check the high-use koala trees we found or ensuring a thorough search was made before logging to identify koala high-use areas.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. More power to you NEFA. Without dedicated people like yourselves on the ground putting in the time, the rest of us would be left in the dark and none the wiser as Forests NSW rode roughshod over our national heritage while the Environment Protection Authority sits on it hands.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Cocaine bust in Byron Shire, 7 men arrested

Police say two separate investigations into the ongoing supply of cocaine in the Byron Bay area have led to charges against seven men.

Cringe worthy PM

Keith Duncan, Pimlico After cringing at the spectacle of Scott Morrison blatantly lying to President Biden during that virtual climate summit of world leaders, we...

False impressions

Fast Buck$, Coorabell I was under the impression that, upon the mayor resigning, the deputy mayor would automatically get the job. Instead we find now...

Deep listening and housing ideas under Mullum’s fig trees for Renew Fest

Around a hundred presenters, musicians, other artists and community activators plus a bumper crowd of punters all came together under the fig trees at the Mullumbimby Showground over the weekend for Renew Fest 2021.