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July 15, 2024

NCC condemns logging in proposed Great Koala National Park

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Logging is like ‘a wrecking bal’l through the proposed Great Koala National Park. Photo Bellingen Activist Network.

The Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales (NCC) has condemned targeted and intensive logging of forests within the proposed Great Koala National Park (GKNP) by Forestry Corporation of NSW (FCNSW).  

Newry State Forest on the Mid-North Coast (10km west of Urunga) is the most recent target of these operations inside the proposed GKNP. Compartments 21,22,26,27,28 (total area 657ha) of Newry are now ‘active’, as shown on the FCNSW CIFOA Plan Portal.

This forest contains a well-known koala population, with three mapped koala hubs within of directly bordering Newry. FCNSW are also at the ‘planning’ stage to log Newry compartments 23,24,25 (528ha total area). 

To the Gumbaynggirr people this place is part of the Nunngguu Mirraarl (Golden Kangaroo) dreaming/songline landscape. Photo Bellingen Activist Network.

High cultural significance to the Gumbaynggirr

The forest is of very high cultural significance and value to the Gumbaynggirr people as part of the Nunngguu Mirraarl (Golden Kangaroo) dreaming/songline landscape. The plan to log these compartments is a direct threat to the integrity of this crucial cultural landscape, they say. Gumbaynggirr elders have called for the protection of sacred sites in and around Newry State Forest.  
 
In what protesters says is a clear response to community opposition, locked steel gates have been established at every entrance of the forest with security guards present 24/7 with routine police visits.  
 
Local First Nations people and community groups are gearing up for a long fight to protect this forest, which is a sign of the significance it has ecologically and culturally. A protest camp has been established at the entrance to Newry. 

Photo Bellingen Activist Network.

Locking out traditional owners

NCC Chief Executive Officer Jacqui Mumford said that locking out traditional owners from their own forest is shameful behaviour by the Forestry Corporation of NSW. ‘To see Elders and custodians being physically dragged away to allow logging of their sacred sites to occur under police guard is a new low, even for FCNSW,’ she says.

‘They have a duty to consult and listen to First Nations people, which they have clearly failed at. FCNSW has gone rogue, and they must be reined in at Newry, and across the entire state.’

Ms Mumford said this is occurring within months of a historic referendum for Indigenous rights in this country. ‘When will we learn to listen?’ she asks.

A wrecking ball in the proposed Great Koala National Park

Photo Bellingen Activist Network.

Forestry Corp is taking a wrecking ball to the proposed Great Koala National Park. This smash and grab before the area is protected must be stopped to ensure we have koalas left to protect.

‘31,000 hectares of forest are currently slated for logging within the boundaries of the proposed GKNP over the next 12 months. This represents nearly 18 per cent of the entire area proposed for gazettal to form the GKNP.
 
‘These are our public forests, and the public overwhelmingly does not support this industry. This industry has no social license at all. The frequency and staggering number of arrests occurring in our public native forests protesting logging paints a very clear picture of this.’ 
 
Ms Mumford said forests in NSW are incredibly carbon rich, which means they are also big emitters when destroyed. ‘3.6 million tonnes of carbon are released every year through native forest logging in NSW, the equivalent of 840,000 cars. Protecting them for their carbon value would be a huge step towards achieving NSW’s emissions targets.’


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4 COMMENTS

  1. “The forest is of very high cultural significance and value to the Gumbaynggirr people as part of the Nunngguu Mirraarl (Golden Kangaroo) dreaming/songline landscape.”……. so what ? This is far more important than what people want or care about.
    This is a remnant of what Australia was for millions of years, and must still be if we are to survive, and more importantly LIFE itself must have an ecological base to exist in. ‘Woolies’ are not going to provide a habitable planet, after it has been cut down, chopped up and packaged for your convenience.
    Cheers,

    • Now await the planned destructive clearing/roading for “cheap/clean/efficient energy” Windfarms, Ken.
      These will never be able to regenerate, unlike trees.
      [Haven’t seen many activist conservationists protesting over these eyesores yet.]

  2. This is a proposed National Park with the emphasis on the word “proposed”
    Logging is illegal in a National Park, so logging also would be illegal in a proposed National Park as the area to be a National Park has to be left intact for legalities to take place.

  3. Does anyone know if the logging has been stopped at Doubleduke forest, or was it just put on hold?
    The forest access roads near New Italy have been resealed & areas have been cleared that look like turning circles for logging trucks.
    There’s some magnificent old trees in there, I really hope they can be saved & treated with some respect.

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