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Byron Shire
June 2, 2023

NEFA says logging in Cherry Tree must stop

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NEFA say logging has been stopped this morning – cars were turned around and forest protectors wait to see what will happen. Photo supplied.

A protest is underway near Mallanganee as the North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) highlights the need for logging on the Richmond Range to stop until outstanding issues are addressed.

Protesters locked-on at the entrance to the logging site. Photo supplied.

NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said Logging is underway in compartments 3 and 4 of Cherry Tree State Forest with an action planned by Forest Defence NSW this morning.With logging underway in Cherry Tree State Forest, NEFA have written to the EPA and Minister Kean asking for it to be stopped until outstanding issues are dealt with. It is particularly concerning that buffers are not being applied to rainforest given that it is known that logging significantly increases the risk and intensity of fires, and 30 per cent of north-east NSW’s rainforests were burnt in the 2019/20 wildfires.

A tripod erected at Cherry Tree. Photo supplied.

Mr Pugh said that koalas are present in the area and there needs to be surveys to identify core koala habitat for protection.The Richmond Range represents the divide between the Richmond and Clarence Rivers, with most of the logging area draining into the Richmond River. Protection of these headwater streams on steep country is particularly important to the health of these rivers. Regrettably, the stream buffers have been significantly reduced, increasing logging impacts on water quality.

Widespread and systematic breaches of the logging rules

Mr Pugh said NEFA audited logging of the northern part of this planning area in 2015 and identified widespread and systematic breaches of the logging rules, from which the EPA identified 66 cases of non-compliance with legal requirements for threatened plants, rainforest, habitat trees, tracks, streams and threatened fauna.

Forest loggers were turned away from the site earlier this morning. Photo supplied.

‘The outcome was that the EPA issued two Penalty Infringement Notices ($2,000 fine), corrective action requests, and 47 Official Cautions for non-compliances. This is nothing, particularly as they got away scot-free for many.

‘We are now asking for compensatory habitat protection for the illegal logging of some 95 hectares of Endangered Ecological Communities and hundreds of hollow-bearing trees, as well as excessive canopy removal in habitat of the Endangered Black-striped Wallaby.

Protesters are determined to keep loggers out of Cherry Tree today. Photo supplied.

Issues to be addressed before logging

NEFA’s report requests that before logging proceeds: the Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan needs to be complied with; wide buffers need to be placed around rainforest and related vegetation; canopy retention needs to be increased to mitigate impacts on the Black-striped Wallaby and to compensate for the past excessive logging; compensatory areas need to be retained for the 91.3 ha of the EEC Grey Box-Grey Gum Wet Sclerophyll Forest illegally logged; all hollow-bearing trees need to be retained to compensate for the hundreds illegally logged; the identified Wildlife Habitat Clumps need to be redesigned to maximise inclusion of the best habitat and remove overlaps with existing exclusions and heavily logged areas, and; areas susceptible to Bell Miner Associated Dieback need to be identified and excluded from logging.

NEFA has asked that all logging be stopped until these issues are fully dealt with.

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  1. All logging needs to stop in native forests. There is plenty of cleared unused land in Australia that needs to be reforested with plantation timber. And native trees need to be used, not crappy introduced pine. Brazil and countries in Africa have more Eucalyptus plantations than Australia. They realise how fast growing and good quality the wood is.
    We import so much timber when we have the space for plantings to meet our needs. Cattle can still run in plantations.
    This needs to be addressed.

    • That should have happened in 1997 Wollumbin Rising.

      But it didn’t.

      The Greenies sat around Nimbin and Mullum and grew lantana, and planted no agroforestry on their lands. Everyone else followed their (lack of) lead.

      So we have no plantation resource, not even 24 years old.

      So we need to use regrowth native forests to get timber for construction.

      Otherwise we must:
      1. Use tropical rainforest timber from Indonesia, PNG, etc – which we are but you never see these Greenies led by Dailan Pugh taking action at Bunnings about that; and/or
      2. Do more mining and burning of fossil fuels to manufacture alternate building materials (steel, fibre cement, gyprock, etc).

      Number 2 is non-renewable mineral resources, so it is irreversible impact (in a climate emergency!) because we can’t replant coal, iron ore, silica, etc.

      Only fools suggest we don’t source any renewable resource called timber from regrowth forests when this means we have to do 1 and/or 2 above.

      Next generations will remember these fools standing for replacing use of renewable natural resources with use of non-renewable mineral resources, in a climate emergency – and it won’t be remembering them fondly

  2. What wonderful heroes at NEFA !
    And…..how shamefull that so many sit back and do nothing to stop this criminal industry, that is hell bent on destruction of the meagre remnents of habitat left to our unique and critically endangered environmental treasures.
    When was the last time you saw a feather glider, a greater glider or even a koala in the wild ?
    Will Australia be happy when it is all extinct?
    Cheers, G”)

  3. That is so true and without a doubt there are significant local Aboriginal Tribe sacred and traditional places there. How dare these ignorant and insensitive corporations in collusion with NSW state and local governments, put money before the survival of native creatures and their forest habitats? And of the rights and sensitivities of local First Nations peoples? Shame, shame, NSW crony capitalists, your greedy, ignorant, wilfully destructive behaviour makes me sick.

  4. 80% of native forests are chipped and pulped for paper! Shame ! The idea that small regrowth trees are being used for construction timber is a lie generated by the forestry industry which is propped up by state government subsidies AKA your tax $$. See Judith Ajani, Forestry economics ANU for further details on reference- PLEASE 🙂


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