This morning at the entrance to the Yarratt State Forest, near Taree, a Mad Hatter’s tea party celebrating World Environment Day on a logging road, stopped a truck heading into the forest.
North East Forest Alliance spokesperson, Susie Russell said the action was to help save Koalas, who, though they are much loved around the world, here in the heartland of koala country, government after government, condones the destruction of their homes and then laments their declining populations.
The most significant lowland koala forest
‘Here in the Manning Valley, the most significant lowland koala forest that was not burnt in the 2019 fires, is being scalped. Every day more truck loads of koala trees are taken out of Yarratt State Forest,’ said Russell.
‘Yarratt has been identified in study after study as high quality koala habitat. It has many koala records. The NSW government found it to be a ‘koala hub’ and the Commonwealth government has identified it as a “Nationally Important Koala Area” (NIKA).
‘We are here in the forest on today to spotlight the insanity of this ongoing koala destruction, being subsidised by taxpayers, and other programs planting koala habitat elsewhere, also subsidised by taxpayers.
Yarratt closed to the public
Ms Russell said the Yarratt State Forest is closed to the public, so there can be no scrutiny of the logging. ‘A recent satellite image, shows that the damage being done is extensive.
‘I’ve written to the EPA and to Environment Minister Penny Sharpe, calling on them to exercise their responsibilities to protect our most nationally iconic animal. So far our pleas are falling on deaf ears.
‘Koalas evolved around 25 million years ago. They are on the brink of extinction. It is beyond tragic and a crime against the future. At the very least we can bear witness and keep the alarm bells ringing.’
Ms Russell said the Tea Party saved koalas for one more day. ‘We managed to stop a log truck. It backed up and went away.’