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Byron Shire
March 6, 2021

Protesters ‘really frustrated’ by logging after fires

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The four protesters held up work for several hours in the Comboyne State Forest.

On Saturday four conservationists stopped logging in koala habitat in Comboyne State Forests west of Port Macquarie.

Spokesperson for the protesters Susie Russell said they had been informed during the week that a neighbour had seen and heard koalas in that patch of forest.

Ms Russell has been a long time activist with the North East Forest Alliance and is a Vice-President of the North Coast Environment Council.

Prime koala habitat destroyed in the fires

‘With so much prime koala habitat destroyed in the fires, every bit of koala habitat is important.’

Ms Russell said she wrote to Forestry Corporation last Thursday advising them koala activity in the area and asked them to give an asked them to stop logging. ‘They didn’t reply and then we heard that the machines had started up on Saturday morning.

The protesters were escorted from the site by police.

‘Protesting was a spontaneous response to the frustration many of us feel. Despite the koalas of our region having suffered hundreds of fatalities in the recent fires, and despite so many millions of hectares having burnt, it’s business as usual for the logging industry.’

Protesters escorted from the site by police

‘We stayed on site for almost three hours before we were escorted off by police and threatened with significant fines. We will consider taking further action,’ said Ms Russell.

Ms Russell said the logging has been going on for a while. ‘It is one of several areas that were being logged before the fires, that the EPA gave the go-ahead to continue after the fires.

Ms Russell said that people living on the logging truck route have been getting increasingly anxious about the volume of logs leaving the area.

‘I had been away for almost a month and on my return, I talked to a neighbour who said that several years ago he had rescued a chlamydia infected koala that had come from that forest and it had eventually been released back where they found it in the Comboyne.

‘They neighbour also said they had also heard a koala in recent weeks.’

Information provided by conservationist Dailan Pugh shows that the area is modelled habitat for the Sphagnum Frog, the Stuttering Frog, Giant Barred Frog and the Tiger Quoll – ‘These are all identified 113 Commonwealth most threatened species along with koala, whose unburnt habitat should be protected,’ said M Pugh. ‘The harvesting plan will likely have other species in it such as the Greater Glider.’

Ms Russell said that when someone rang her on Saturday morning to say that all three machines were ‘going for it’ at 7am, she felt really frustrated. ‘So, the four of us decided to go in and stop work to make the point. Interestingly one of the contractors acknowledged that they’d been told we might show up’.


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6 COMMENTS

  1. No regrets policy’: Premier says she will do whatever it takes.

    I guess Gladys the premier for NSW has ideas that nothing matters but her opinion!

    I am sure she IS going to have a “regret policy” when all the Australian Wildlife disappears!

    Tell the premier of NSW to STOP THE LOGGING!

  2. Myself & many of my friends (soul mates) have written to Gladys for years, BUT she is deaf to the screams of Koalas & is only interested in PROTECTING the God damn loggers.Shame on you Gladys you are one nasty dangerous and soul less Premier. After unprecedented bushfires across this state , the Koalas & other wildlife that SOMEHOW managed to survive you just killed them, that simple. After Koala Hearings across the state , that was obviously a PR stunt to convince voters that you were ACTUALLY doing something for Koalas you were determined to destroy them. You were only waiting for the smoke to settle. How disgraceful & cunning you are. Your ears only hear the demands of loggers & you have willingly executed our helpless & long suffering Koalas. This is why many millions of us call you”The Koala Killer” a most deserved title for your brutality and callousness. We MUST get rid of this cruel & shameless Govt.

  3. I just wrote a letter to he Premier to ask for a moratorium on logging in koala habitat across the state. That’s insane that it’s business as usual and there’s no protections in place for the very damaged population and already threatened species as well as all other wildlife cooi g with habitat loss after fires

  4. Gladys leads the NSW Govt for Sydney Metro, she doesn’t have a clue nor does she care about anywhere beyond. Thank you for reporting on this and to conservationists Susie & co for their action in Comboyne State Forest on Sat.

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