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Byron Shire
December 7, 2021

Environmentalists locked on at Gibberagee State Forest

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NEFA’s Dailan Pugh and Wydo Miles locked on at Gibberagee State Forest this morning (Monday, March 4). Photo: NEFA/Facebook

High profile environmentalists and Terania Creek veterans Dailan Pugh and Nan Nicholson are among four people to have locked on in Gibberagee State Forest this morning in a show of strength against the NSW Forestry Corporation.

They are among a number of people who are again gathering in the forest, east of Whiporie, to express their concerns over illegal logging of koala habitat and make a last-ditch appeal to the premier to intervene.

Late last month, the Forestry Corporation walked away from an agreement to inspect high-use koala areas at Gibberagee together with members of North East Forest Alliance (NEFA), who had performed an audit revealing serious breaches.

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is investigating the matter but on recent form is unlikely to report within two years and will not issue even a token fine to the government-owned Forestry Corporation.

Stand off

Echonetdaily spoke to NEFA’s Dailan Pugh at the site.

‘It’s quiet here at the moment,’ he said at around midday.

‘Loggers turned up at 5.30am and turned around.

‘Foresters came an hour or so ago but didn’t want to talk to us. They’re hanging around down the road but we’re not sure what they’re up to.’

Mr Pugh said NEFA had offered to employ a scat detection dog to look for koala scats ‘but they wouldn’t commit to accepting that offer’.

Terania Creek veteran environmentalist Nan Nicholson locked on at Gibberagee State Forest on Monday, March 4, 2019. Photo NEFA/Facebook

Protesters staying put

Asked how long the group was prepared to stay locked on, Mr Pugh said, ‘I think we’re playing it as it unfolds. We’re prepared to stay here longer and force some action.

We’ve been asking the government to move for weeks – well, actually years!

‘We’ve tried the minister, we asked the premier the other day in Lismore – none of them care.

‘We’ve identified [NSW Forestry Corp] are not looking for scats. We’ve found widespread evidence of koalas and they’re still not doing anything about it.’

He said it was absurd that the government were ‘willing to throw all of this money at koalas but they’re not addressing the problem’.

‘They could fix this by the stroke of a pen by telling the Forestry Corporation to do what they’re legally obliged to do [ie looking for koala scats].

‘Someone has to uphold the law when the government refuses to.

‘The EPA are just a smokescreen for the Forestry Corporation’s illegal logging,’ he said.

Save koalas rally

Meanwhile, the Nature Conservation Council (NCC) held a rally in Lismore on Sunday, March 3, to coincide with World Wildlife Day.

More than 100 people attended with members of NCC Friends of the Koala and NEFA speaking.


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  1. Go Dailan and Nan! The current situation is horrific both in terms of what the recent laws allow and what even then is not being abided by.

  2. We need this to be a major election issue. This country cannot afford to lose any more habitat or biodiversity. The Libs and Nats are allowing the wanton destruction of our environment! Dying rivers and massive deforestation is their legacy.

  3. Nan & Dailan ONCE gain we are sooooooo very proud of you….more of us will be joining. Dailan your comments were so apt , this state Govt has had years to do something about Koala /wildlife protection and has chosen to do nothing. They are scamming the NSW citizens who are uninformed about the reality of the money spent by Govt & the real destruction they are causing in our native forests. IF they stopped the damn logging our Koalas could have a chance. Shame on the Bloody Forestry Corp who is simply protected by this appalling Govt. We LOVE you guys. Lets hope these eco vandals are voted out at next election.

  4. Sending huge air hugs to our heroes in the Gibberagee State Forest!
    Love ya work. Mixed emotions as equally, I am so ashamed of our State Government for supporting the destruction of forests for money- by now, we know there’s a better way to do things…..

  5. Looks like it’s time to come out of retirement!
    After 40years I was beginning to think I am too old for this shit.
    But No ! You don’t give up the fight !

  6. Its time for us all to come out and protect our forests and species. The State Govt. is too secretive and greedy and getting rid of them is essential for the rights of nature and Climate healing. All power to you Nan and Dailan. Its the people that will lead the way…a strong and determined Civil Society.

  7. Bit like the greenies down south, chained to machinery that wasn’t able to be used to combat bushfires, now millions of wildlife lost, go figure.

    • Well if those people did not unchain themselves from machinery that needed to be used to combat fires , they are definitely not greenies in my mind. And I would feel bitter and pissed off with those people too.

  8. These wonderful, brave people are willing to risk their own lives to save the koala habitat from the current government who cares nothing about them.

  9. Terania Rainforest Warriors – Gibberagee Lock on Warriors – Protecting the forests – Saving Koala Habitat
    Congrats Dalian and Nan and all the environmental protectors and warriors.

  10. You shame me that I am not there with you to TRY and save koala habitat. I am saddened every time I pass road screening that features paintings of the creatures and vegetation that once lived there, flora and fauna threatened with extinction behind the little remnants left along roads screening the removal of the forests behind them, for logging and for urban development. Saddened every time that same Highway takes me over a drain that once was a meandering Creek with streambank vegetation and fish and a place to pull over and share a roadside cuppa.
    Like most of us, I want roads and homes and wildlife too. How do we do it all?
    I have never minded being called a Greenie, though really I don’t deserve the praise, but a Greenie who prevents use of machinery to put out a bushfire is guilty of a serious crime in proportion to any damage caused by the fire. Did that really happen? Then certainly throw the book at them.
    Greenies who protest preventative burning in the interests of maintaining “the natural environment” should review what natural environment is in Australia – a landscapefor thousands of generations modified by managed, and sometimes no doubt, unmanaged fires. We seem, in the north at least to be getting a better understanding of that and providing employment for some indigenous people in practice?
    But I have digressed far. ? to those prepared to risk so much to try and protect the koalas of Giberagee.


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