This morning a woman has locked-on to machinery in Ellis State Forest, west of Coffs Harbour, to prevent NSW Forestry Corporation (FCNSW) from logging.
Bellingen resident Carly Flemming is locked-on to a harvester, immobilising the primary logging machine.
The Bellingen Activist Network demands that native forests are safeguarded from the unruly behaviour of Forestry Corporation NSW (FCNSW) to protect threatened wildlife, waterways and the climate.
Ms Flemming said she is devastated that those in power are choosing inaction in the face of undeniable species extinction. ‘They make a mockery out of all of us as they fund an unprofitable industry that is destroying precious koala habitat, ruining our waterways and fuelling the climate crisis.’
Core habitat for koalas
The Bellingen Activist Network says that Ellis State Forest was identified as being core habitat for one of the largest populations of koalas on the North Coast. The group is concerned that FCNSW is continuing to log native forests in the midst of an extinction crisis, pushing species like the koala towards a point of no return.
This morning Flemming said we need to see an end to native forest logging immediately. ‘The local Forestry sector employs fewer people than the Bellingen IGA. Current contracts and obligations should be cancelled, with impacted workers transitioning into more secure work.’
Australia has lost the most mammal species
The Bellingen Activist Network says that the recently released State of the Environment report demonstrates that Australia has lost more mammal species than any other continent, and has one of the highest rates of species decline in the world. More than 100 Australian species have been listed as either extinct or extinct in the wild, with loss of habitat listed as one of the key drivers.
The Network says that Ellis State Forest and nearby forests, Wild Cattle Creek have been featured in the media lately with contentions over logging breaches and that in July, FCNSW were prosecuted for over $285,600 in fines and costs imposed by the Land and Environment Court for illegally logging a Koala High Use Area, rainforest and a rainforest buffer in Wild Cattle Creek State Forest in 2018.
A Bellingen Activist Network spokesperson said they believe that Forestry Corporation will continue to breach its weak environmental protocols unless the community steps in and holds them to account. ‘They have broken the community’s trust showing a blatant disregard for threatened wildlife habitat and fines alone are not enough.
Non-violent direct action
‘Non-violent direct action has been used successfully for decades to challenge the systems that destroy nature for profit. Australia has lost more mammal species than any other continent on Earth… if we don’t take bolder action who will? It is absolutely time for communities to step up and take matters into their own hands.’
The Bellingen Activist Network invite people who value a diversity of species, healthy waterways and a stable climate, to join a growing community of people standing up to protect public native forests.
More information can be found at: www.facebook.com/