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Byron Shire
June 21, 2021

Ancient trees face the axe

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This old-growth tree facing the axe in Koreelah State Forest may be more than 1000 years old. Photo Dailan Pugh
This old-growth tree facing the axe in Koreelah State Forest may be more than 1,000 years old. Photo Dailan Pugh

Chris Dobney

A move by Forestry NSW to log trees that may be over 1,000 years old in Koreelah State Forest has saddened Greens MLC Jan Barham and angered conservationists, who have described it as ‘wanton environmental vandalism’.

Ms Barham said she had an urgent meeting with ministerial staff, hoping to ‘secure protection for a significant stand of ancient trees and a comprehensive review by government’.

‘The Forestry Corporation’s own evidence from studies of Terania Creek in 1981 shows that trees this large could be as much as 1,500 years old,’ she said.

‘I understand Forestry Corporation’s regional manager advised [on Tuesday] of their intention to commence logging, and that the only protection would be for trees with a diameter of at least 1.8 metres,’ she added.

North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) spokesperson Dailan Pugh told Echonetdaily the stand is dominated by old-growth brushbox, tallowood and bluegum trees ‘many hundreds, and some thousands, of years old’.

‘Not much of this original forest with giant old trees over a maturing rainforest is left. It is a remnant of our original forest, prime habitat for a number of threatened animals, and is irreplaceable and thus priceless,’ he said.

‘We are extremely disappointed that the ministers for environment and forestry rejected our pleas to save this unique place. It is outrageous that they condone the continued destruction of trees pre-dating, by hundreds of years, Europeans’ arrival in this country.

‘It is only a few hectares and a marvel to behold. Its destruction is wanton environmental vandalism of the worst kind.’

Ms Barham said they, ‘are known to support many threatened species, including Albert’s Lyrebird, Sooty Owl, Marbled Frogmouth, Yellow-bellied Glider and Fleay’s Barred Frog, all of which will be adversely impacted on by logging’.

‘I also doubt that many people have seen trees this large and marvelled at their majestic size. It is an unnecessary loss.’

Forester injured

The logging decision has already resulted in a human casualty, with a forestry worker in his mid-40s injured on Monday.

Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter reported the man had received serious injuries after a tree he was felling stuck him.

‘Because of the very difficult access a helicopter medical team were winched down to access and stabilise the patient in conjunction with police and NSW Ambulance staff who accessed the area by 4WD,’ a spokesperson said.

After treatment and extrication the man was flown to the Lismore Base Hospital in a serious condition with multiple trauma injuries for further treatment.

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  1. This is an absolute disgrace! Who are these guys claiming to represent the public of NSW. No one in their right mind would even think of cutting a tree that old! This is senseless destruction in other words vandalism. Could most people in NSW be that dumb and shortsighted?
    We need to get another petition now and start organising to stop having vandals and thieves in parliament

  2. What is it with some humans … destroy everything …saddens me no end to take out such a tree… WHO is responsible for this stupidity?

  3. This is a disgrace and Forestry Corporation has the timber-industry-backed sustainability AFS certification. So if you buy AFS certified wood, it could come from one of the reported illegal logging sites conducted by Forestry Corporation or these very trees. Boycotting AFS products and Boral is a way to make a difference. We only purchase FSC certified wood products. FSC recently knocked back a Boral application for FSC certification.

    Justice Pepper wrote in her judgement in June 2011 with respect to Forests NSW (no Forestry Corporation of NSW):
    [The number of convictions] suggests either a pattern of continuing disobedience in respect of environmental laws generally or, at the very least, a cavalier attitude to compliance with such laws.
    Her Honour also wrote:
    Given the number of offences the Forestry Commission has been convicted of and in light of the additional enforcement notices issued against it, I find that the Forestry Commission’s conduct does manifest a reckless attitude towards compliance with its environmental obligations.

    The penalty is exceedingly low compared to penalties for other environmental offences, particularly given the seriousness with which the community has come to view environmental offences. However, any increase in the penalty is a matter for Parliament.

    This is the group that says our forests are ‘in good hands’. Now they apparently plan to take every last remnant of our Ancient Forests.

    If you care about forests, it’s time for our community to get active like we are against CSG mining in the region.

  4. Another disgraceful profit based lustful greed and power decision by those who obviously have complete disconnection with the world we all live in. This is wanton consumption at it worst. Yes they can trot out all the excuses under the sun to justify their actions just as pollies all do, Simply by their past convictions and behaviour this self servicing industry group must be dismantled and replaced with an independent transparent committee devoted to bringing foresight and balance to their actions. This mob cannot be entrusted with protecting the environment for our next generations to come.

  5. I am in utter shock that I have not received a petition to sign against the ruthless slaying of this ancient forest. Nor has there been a chance to lobby and overturn this heinous decision. Wow! Are these people eating too much Maccas and drinking too much tainted water? Causing them to have rocks in there heads? This is a cliche but we DO only have one planet, why are these clowns acting like Earth has its own external hard drive! Overturn this rancid decision pronto!

  6. Stop whining about it to each other. Get onto this woman,Robin Parker M.P the NSW minister for the environment. Email her and/or phone her and do your complaining to her.
    She is paid by the taxpayer to look after the environment…..see that she earns her keep.


    NSW Parliament House contact
    [email protected]
    Phone. (02) 4933 1617
    Fax (02) 4933 4782

    Her office contact.
    [email protected]
    Phone (02) 9228 5253
    Fax (02) 9228 5763

    • Peggy you have to be joking. Robin Parker is the minister who said last year that logging helps koalas!
      As far as I can see governments in control of our environment these days are nothing short of eco terrorists i.e. the worst criminals and #1 enemy of our planet.

  7. Tree as old as reported could be expected to have in their branches possibly hundreds of native birds. probably a majority being f local species. This is natural diversity. If a tree is cut down these animals and birds will not dye out. It is quite natural for them to disperse to nearby areas. To say that they will be lost to us is nonsense.\Also it is well established that young growth absorbs a far greater amount of CO2 than old growth so that by clearing out much of the old growth and enabling an increase in young growth a greater absorption of CO2 will take place, Isn’t that what the Greens want or do they really know what they what.

  8. What is it with the Liberals ? Soon as they get in it’s environmental carnage . Dumping dredge tailings in the Great Barrier reef National Park because it’s cheaper for the environmental vandals digging it up . What does a World Heritage listing mean ? Nothing obviously , lookout Mt Warning National Park , Border Ranges and the Lamington Plateau . Labour wasn’t much better the Developers had their ear talking about having tourist cabins dotted throughout our World Heritage National Parks . The Liberals are in bed with BIG business , Labour was in bed with Developers , both want to reduce environmental red tape , in other words get rid of it . Only one solution VOTE THEM OUT .

  9. it is like looking at an innocent person, someonewho deserves to be respected, top of their field, standing before a guillotine to be made into mince meat for an Hyena.

  10. About time Forestry cut down these big old ugly trees. Just think how many houses we could get out of one tree. And for all you Greenies, I’m sure we could that find some very nice Camphor Laurel seedlings to plant nearby.
    Come on people… Think of the future.

  11. If European countries had forests this ancient, they would make them a national icon, fence them, protect them and charge tourists to experience them. Not here though – obliteration! Why? Because the government can!


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