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December 4, 2023

MP George promises meeting with Upton over illegal logging

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Koala at Limpinwood takes refuge in a camphor laurel tree. Photo supplied.
Koala at Limpinwood takes refuge in a camphor laurel tree. Photo supplied.

With no accurate wildlife surveys conducted and koalas fleeing to neighbouring properties following the illegal logging on the property owned by Hewittville Pty Ltd near Limpinwood, representatives of several community organisations met on Monday with Thomas George, MP, at his Lismore offices to discuss the future of logging in native forests.

Environmental scientist Kirsten Cowley of Northern Rivers Guardians said, ‘The Hewittville property forms a large part of an important wildlife corridor which is essential for preservation of native flora and fauna. The government needs to act to preserve this land as a vital link between the many nature reserves and National Parks in the region.’

Of particular interest to Susie Hearder of Limpinwood was the unauthorised damage caused to wildlife habitat adjacent to her property on Boorman’s Road. The local koala population is threatened by road building and logging and some have fled onto her land she said.

‘A resolution at last week’s Tweed Shire Council meeting noted that no accurate wildlife survey has been done on land owned by Hewittville Pty Ltd which is being investigated for a third time because of unauthorised activities,’ said Ms Hearder.

The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage has said that new legislation, including the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016, began on 25 August 2017 ‘will help us to achieve better environmental outcomes through an integrated, modernised approach to biodiversity conservation and the management of threatened species.’

However, Scott Sledge, President of Northern Rivers Guardians said that ‘I have learned that Australia has the worst record in the world, second only to Indonesia, in destroying native species. I think it’s about time we turn to plantation forestry for timber harvesting and leave something of the natural world  for future generations.

‘This commitment (from NSW Office of Environment and Heritage) is certainly not reflected in the logging of native forests. But the new Act provides funding that can be used to buy key koala habitat.’

Jimmy Malecki , Secretary of the North Coast Environment Council, said that we already have enough plantation timber for our needs via sustainable management, ‘We could… and should… stop logging native forests right now.’

MP Thomas George promised the community members who attended the meeting to arrange a future meeting with the NSW Minister for the Environment, Gabrielle Upton, in mid November. the meeting will be attended by himself and Tweed MP Geoff Provest, plus Tweed Mayor Katie Milne and Tweed Council General Manager Troy Green to find a solution to a problem that has upset a fair portion of regional residents.


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  1. Sorry, forgive my cynicism but I don’t like your chances of achieving ANYTHING at that meeting involving that mob listed ! It appears only one of those people have any environmental credentials, with all 3 of those state and federal politicians currently being responsible for implementing textbook anti-environmental agendas of their respective governments.

    The “so-called Environment Minister” would be the same Gabrielle Upton overseeing the current dismantling of the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, including:
    * reducing the size of the NPW workforce (by nearly 40% since 2012)
    * reducing their budget allocations by 50% over past 5 years;
    * changing their Award conditions by reducing their pay;
    * abolishing all the key Pest Management Officer positions statewide previously position coordinating feral animal and weed control programs;
    * “dumbing down” the NPWS by removing university graduate entry requirements for Rangers because there are too many science graduates objecting to the non-scientific land management practices current proposed by the Berejiklian (Baird-O’Farrell) nature-hating, tree-hating government;
    * who is part of the NSW Liberal National Party government that has just ABOLISHED the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act and watered down the National Parks and Wildlife Act and Environmental Planning and Assessment Act to weaken environmental protections (- and supported by Thomas George) and which has successfully prosecuted only ONE serious breach of Forestry Operations conditions in 7 years!! ;
    * and directly appointed a series of former failed Forestry Managers to be in charge of managing the “New-Look” National Parks system in NSW !!!!

    Appealing to deaf ears, their decision is already a fait accompli. Poor old Katie will have her hands full trying to have a single proposal adopted.

    • There is a process to follow. ‘Most’ people will follow processes and laws. These are steps that must be taken.
      It is now in the hands of Minister Upton.. her lack of interest so far doesn’t give much hope but we will not give up!


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