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Byron Shire
May 30, 2024

Forest defenders merry-go-round of camp sites 

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Locals who created a ‘watch camp’ at Doubleduke State Forest have now moved four times and are looking for another camp area. Photo supplied

Police, NSW Forestry and National Parks have all informed local forest protection activists that they are not welcome on public land, at a range of sites, to set up a ‘watch camp’ on logging activities of NSW Forestry at Doubleduke State Forest. 

The Save Banyabba Koalas forest protection camp has now been moved on four times after originally setting up legally in Tabbimobile and then Doubleduke State Forests. 

Originally they set up in Tabbimobile State Forest before they were told to move and they relocated to Doubleduke State Forest (which is next door to Tabbimobile). It was here that ‘six police vehicles were sent to shut down the Save Banyabba Koalas forest protection camp,’ said Susie Russell, North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) spokesperson, told The Echo.

The camp moved to another, open area, of Doubleduke State Forest. On Sunday they had up to 30 people visit the camp as part of an open day before NSW Forestry arrived on the Sunday afternoon to inform them that they had to move as both Tabbimobile and Doubleduke State Forests were being closed to the public. 

Logging at Doubleduke State Forest. Photo supplied

Sunday afternoon the watch camp moved to the nearby state conservation area of Jackywalbin. They were then approached by National Parks to be informed that they could not have the camp at this site as it was closed and are required to once again move on. 

‘Forestry claim that closing forests is about safety, but really it’s about avoiding scrutiny,’ said Ms Russell. 

‘Increasingly they close large areas of surrounding forest to their logging operations. When the public are finally allowed back in, the place looks like a war zone. It’s no longer a place for picnics or camping or all the other activities Forestry promote as being allowed in the public’s forests. It’s purely designed as a mechanism to criminalise free speech, civil disobedience and community scrutiny of our public assets.

‘Those of us who want to draw attention to the destruction of a public asset are singled out for arrest as happened to me in Bulga State Forest,’ Ms Russell said.

‘It’s outrageous that the NSW Government is using the police force to protect what is effectively a criminal activity.’

Logging continues at Doubleduke State Forest. Photo supplied

Logging illegal

Ms Russell said that the area they are currently logging at Doubbleduke is where some of the last, largest and oldest trees are located in the Doubleduke State Forest.

‘It is these trees that supply the hollow log habitat for the 170 species that rely on this habitat. It is truly shocking that these remaining trees are being cut down by NSW Forestry.

‘We maintain that the renewal of the Regional Forest Agreements in 2018 with no assessment of the impacts of climate change or the impacts of logging on threatened species and old growth was illegal. The matter is still before the courts. We mounted a legal challenge which was heard in the federal court last March. If we win our case, how will all the trees be replaced and the damage undone?

‘We are hoping for a judgment in the next month or so,’ Ms Russell said.

Can you host the watch camp?

Currently, the Save Banyabba Koalas forest protection camp is looking for a new site that they can relocate to so that they can keep an eye on the logging. They are asking neighbours and other locals to come forward to let them know if they are willing to have the camp on their property. 

Contact the Save Banyabba Koalas forest protection camp Facebook page or contact NEFA at: https://www.nefa.org.au if you have any questions.


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13 COMMENTS

  1. These low-life , criminal scum are not welcome in my State Forests and National Parks !
    I am sick to death of hearing of new atrocities being committed by Police, NSW Forestry and National Parks.
    Why do the people not rise up and end the tyranny and desecration being perpetrated in our natural resources by these fascist excuses for democratic government ?
    Not Happy ! G”)

      • Good point Ginger, but my “rising up” these days involves a walker.
        I was there in Terania Creek in 79, Mt Nardi , Chaelundi and I lent a hand at Bently, but the baton must now go to those more able, but seemingly less motivated.
        Sadly, it appears in order to accomplish anything worthwhile for the planet, the ecosystem or the children, it is now necessary to break the law and face two years in prison and/or $22,000 in fines.
        This is Fascism and a police state, rise up or go under !
        G”)

        • Pretty sure if I lead a pro-logging rally into the forest and refused to leave, we would get arrested too for the same reasons. May I suggest taking up Tai Chi. The Beijing 24 are very good for elderly people’s mobility.

        • Pretty sure if I lead a pro-logging rally into the forest and refused to leave, we would get arrested too for the same reasons. May I suggest taking up Tai Chi. The Beijing 24 are very good for elderly people’s mobility.

    • Dear Ken
      1/ it’s not “my ” or “your” native forest or national park , it’s Gods , & he has provided it for us humans to use the renewable resources for housing , building materials , firewood etc.
      2/ The people will not rise up, because the story line & the agenda & all the fake science behind the Greens movement is not being followed or believed by the vast majority of sensible , intelligent Aussies.
      Do you have any other silly comments that I can correct for you to help set your mind at peace ?
      Maybe visit a Bunnings store tommorrow .
      No Redgum ,no Karri , no Merbau , almost no quality Vic Ash /KD 1st grade etc etc.
      15 years ago these were in abundance .
      And note the prices of the available imported pine from NZ & Philipines & 3rd workd countries where forest stewardship is , …well non existent.
      Have you viewed the burnt wood in NSW & Vic.native forests & national parks ?? From the recent super fires ?
      Can you logically ” bLAmE” the loggers for this ??
      You really need to study the history of Australian logging & study the fakery & BS surrounding the whole Greens movement .
      Otherwise remain ignorant & keep destroying this great country.

  2. The state government should be a shame of themselves, letting logging companies cut down old trees that is home to so many animals ,wildlife, and birds etc. why are they not growing trees for logging like they use to (Pine trees) what happen to that project? They do not care about the future for our wildlife at all. Shame Shame

  3. A generation ago the fight was to protect old growth forests, and around 200 new national parks were created.

    Now there is just a small bunch of extremists trying to shut down all forestry in a climate emergency caused by using non-renewable resources.

    Even national parks doesn’t want to know them, but they are too extreme to even notice the fact

  4. We must have missed Perrottet, Toole and Minus passing another of their NSW anti-Democracy Law – ‘No camping allowed for forest protectors’.
    March 25 Election can’t come soon enough.

    • In QLD you can’t just go camping anywhere you like in State Forests or National Parks. I’d be surprised if you ever could in NSW.

  5. I can’t understand how you can put an animal before a human life. With all the amount of money that goes to animals already. Yet we have humans without a home no where to sleep to shower to use a bathroom. Families I’m talking about as well and with all the jobs available why aren’t you applying for them instead of living of the government hard working taxpayers. When people start putting an animal before a human I believe they have lost the plot. Go Get A Job

  6. We can only hope for a change of government and the end of Forestry Corporation and an independent EPA. The system of harvesting and regulation is corrupted and extinctions of Threatened species will not be halted unless we End Native Forest Logging. Susie Russell honour you and NEFA for your courage as you continue to tell the about truth about our forests. Vote for Koala at the NSW election 25th March.

    • I’ve just spent two nights camping next to a lake in an area adjacent to Bunyanba State Forest and I have been shocked that I have seen no native mammals of any descriptions. No wallabies, no possums, no koalas. There are no older trees with hollows for breeding here. There is something seriously astray

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