Tweed Shire Council inspectors yesterday inspected the controversial Hewittville private forestry site at Limpinwood and have given assurances that logging has not resumed despite the concerns of some locals.
Hewittville has a history of unauthorised logging at its Boormans Road property and building unauthorised roads in areas of koala habitat.
North East Forestry Alliance spokesperson Dailan Pugh said there was ‘a high likelihood that koala habitat had been destroyed in the course of the operations’.
And Menkit Prince from Northern Rivers Guardians said the works had ‘created soil erosion sending sediment into Oxley and Rous Rivers’ impacting platypus habitat.
Last September, following ongoing resident concerns and protests outside the property, both the EPA and Tweed Shire Council undertook inspections of the site.
The EPA noted five breaches of the company’s Private Native Forestry Agreement, mostly relating to erosion, but despite issuing a formal warning it resolved to take no further action as it had ‘worked closely with Hewittville Pty Ltd to ensure future compliance with the code’.
Tweed Council meanwhile resolved to conduct ongoing inspections to ensure that the company met its obligations in avoiding the logging of important Environmental Protection Zones.
But on Monday (June 4) local networks were abuzz with comments including this one from a concerned neighbour.
‘Small logging truck and a tractor going up the hill with repeated honks of the horn at 7.05am today. 🙁
‘There was also one truck last week so it seems he’s back at work.’
But in response to Echonetdaily’s inquiries, Tweed Shire Council’s Manager Development Assessment and Compliance, Lindsay McGavin said that was not the case.
‘I was at the site this morning for Council’s investigation purposes, there was no forestry works being undertaken in the area that Council is investigating nor was there any evidence of recent forestry works.
‘Additionally there was no forestry being undertaken in other areas either,’ he said.