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Byron Shire
September 20, 2021

Limpinwood logging destroying koala habitat

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The koala that has survived the Limpinwood logging is now being cared for by Friends of the Koala. Photo supplied.
The koala that has survived the Limpinwood logging is now being cared for by Friends of the Koala. Photo supplied.

Limpinwood residents have been raising concerns regarding the logging that has commenced on over 800 acres of highly significant native forest that is affecting koalas. The land is owned by Hewittville Holdings and is believed to be part of a private native forestry plan with the EPA.

‘Neighbours are worried for wildlife as koala distress calls have been heard since logging began,’ said Scott Sledge, spokesperson for the Northern Rivers Guardians.   

‘A koala has been found on an adjacent property that hasn’t had koalas in the last 25 years. It is suspected the koala fled the tree felling operations and there are signs of possible injury.’

Unanimous vote

Tweed Shire Council voted unanimously on the mayoral minute calling for the state government to do a compliance audit of the operation in regard to environmental and cultural heritage values, and give ‘serious consideration to revoking this logging licence.’

Some of the land has large stands of koala habitat and part of it is listed as an Environmental Protection Zone.

Dailan Pugh of the North East Forest Alliance said, ‘the Tweed LEP 2000 shows a significant part of the property is Zoned 7 (d) Environmental Protection (Scenic/Escarpment) and 7(l) Environmental Protection (Habitat), logging of these areas is only allowed with consent of Council’. 

In a letter to Liberal MP Gabrielle Upton, Tweed mayor Katie Milne highlighted that the ‘landowner has previously undertaken extensive unauthorised works on two separate occasions, bulldozing vegetation on Crown Land to both the northern and southern accesses of the property without consent, and causing serious environmental damage on both occasions…

‘We would like to request that the state government finds a way to end this inappropriate logging operation, such as by cancelling or buying back this licence. This operator has clearly demonstrated they are not a responsible custodian of the land and cannot be trusted to act in the good faith that is essential for the Forestry Code of Conduct to operate properly.’

Echonetdaily has sent questions sent to the EPA and Gabrielle Upton regarding this matter.

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  1. If this land owner is in violation of existing law, why have they not been before the courts, why has council not acted before this ? Will this be another case of too little too late ? Why has there been no application for an injunction to prevent this vandalism whilst investigation is underway ?

  2. It would be wonderful if the NSW State Government did some licence cancelling and made it clear to the “inappropriate loggers” there is a negative consequence for their destructive actions toward the vegetation and the stress they put upon the koalas, who can be feisty but are very cute too. There are presumably also other creatures being put under unnecessary stresses also, as this sounds like clearing of habitat.
    Seems like the tree cutters need to be cut down to size, in order to realise they need to comply with the guidelines!

  3. I lhave just built a small house on this road and daily have a heap of logging trucks and trucks with heavy machinery going up and down the steep gravel road just 50 metres from my house.
    Huge clouds of dust is stirred up every day.. and lands on my roof. Condensation overnight then washes it into my water tank which is used for drinking and washing.
    Clothes hung on the line are covered in dust.
    No warning signs are placed on the single lane dirt road these trucks use.
    The noise of heavy trucks braking can be clearly heard up to 5 km away.. and council imposes no noise limits on this operation.
    Really not happy!

  4. About time people got back to the grass roots and stop destroying our earth. Our flora is not up for grabs to destroy our fauna’s habitat! You rob from Mother Nature and you rob from your children’s and Grandchildren’s future.

  5. Perhaps Echo net should contact the owner and ask to visit the site, as I just did. There is no mass destruction to be seen. Infact I see residents such as horse riders and bush walkers greatly benefiting from the roads being constructed. The crown land being spoken of seemed like 15m section of crown ROAD that has now been released to provide great access for fire escape. This really seems to be being blown out of proportion!!

  6. Sharon van den Broek, we’d like to know how you’re related to John Fish and the other people involved in Hewittville Pty Ltd. that is the only explanation for your absurd claims of no destruction. Talk to his many neighbours who have suffered severely due to this savagery. Or perhaps you’d like to care for the two koalas now in rehab because they are nearly mowed down. What an absolute farce your comments are!


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