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Byron Shire
September 21, 2021

Better late than never for Wild Cattle Creek

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Photo: Giant tree found illegally felled by NEFA in July in Wild Cattle Creek State Forest. Photo supplied.

The North East Forest Alliance has welcomed the Environment Protection Authority’s (EPA’s) belated prosecution of the Forestry Corporation for illegally logging rainforest, rainforest buffers and Koala High Use Areas in Wild Cattle Creek State Forest.

NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said this is the first time since the North East Regional Forest Agreement was signed 20 years ago that the EPA have prosecuted the Forestry Corporation for breaches of their Threatened Species Licence in north-east NSW.

‘This follows the EPA issuing their first Stop Work Order in 20 years, after catching the Forestry Corporation illegally logging two giant trees in Wild Cattle Creek in July this year.

In the same area NEFA subsequently found another two giant trees cut down and numerous others damaged.

‘After 20 years of getting away with murder the Forestry Corporation is finally being held to account. Their illegal activities have flourished under lax regulation for far too long, we can only hope that by finally holding them to account that they will start obeying the law.

Too late for the koala

Mr Pugh said this has unfortunately come too late for the koala as the requirement to protect Koala High Use Areas was abandoned in 2018 because the Forestry Corporation refused to do the thorough surveys required to identify them and the EPA refused to make them.

‘Taking legal action now over one of the few Koala High Use Areas identified is like shutting the door after the horse has bolted.

‘Both the logging now being prosecuted and the area where the giant trees were illegally felled this year, are part of the priority areas the Department of Planning Industry and Environment identified in 2019 for protection as the Great Koala National Park to “provide a feasible and strategic balance between increasing protections for koalas, while minimising impact to forestry operations”.

‘It is past time to stop logging these know Koala hotspots if we want Koalas to survive’ said Mr Pugh.

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  1. Forestry Corporation has found it is much easier to feign ignorance and pretend to have greater care, after they destroy our forest resources. It has always worked and they will not change their ignorant, thoughtless, wanton pillaging and systemic corruption.
    She’ll be right ! G”)

  2. Thank goodness the Forestry Corporation has finally taken action against these illegal timber companies doing what they want to in the forests by cutting down trees. l just hope they keep doing the right thing and prosecute each time they do it .

  3. As one might expect ( IF you’re informed ) NEFA & several other NGO “s actually had to go into these logged forests & film illegal logging/ breaches and photograph Koala scats. This was at great risk to themselves & required constant monitoring & a load of hard work. FORESTRY NEVER UNCOVERS THESE ILLEGALITIES & HOW SURPRISING IS THIS? For decades the state governed Forestry Industry has been accountable to NO ONE & they know they are protected by Govt. They operate in secret & fully realise their privilege /non transparent industry will be championed & defended by Govt agencies & how sick is this ? This destructive, inept/unsustainable & corrupt industry, has survived only due to tax payers subsidies for decades. How many other industries in the ‘red’ are propped up by Govt ?? OUR WILDLIFE LIVE IN THESE NOW DECIMATED NATIVE FORESTS, THIS IS THEIR HOME. To my way of thinking NO Govt has the right to destroy the homes of our long suffering wildlife. This is what I call UNAUSTRALIAN.


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