Conservation groups and the Gumbaynggirr traditional custodians have called on the government to order the Forestry Corporation to not log Nambucca State Forest, one of the last areas of unburnt forests on the state’s north coast.
Forestry Corporation has announced it will start logging on May 14, despite repeated calls by conservation and Indigenous groups to halt logging in areas hit by the bushfires.
“Logging these forests after so many were devastated in the summer bushfires is morally indefensible,” NCC Chief Executive Chris Gambian said.
“Over 50% of state forests on the north coast burned and more than 5000 koalas perished, so we should stop logging until koala populations and their forests have had a chance to rebound.”
Forestry Corporation, the NSW Government’s timber company, intends to log 109 hectares of the small 312 hectares of prime wildlife habitat on the doorstep of the township of Nambucca Heads.
“Trees that are habitat for a wide range of native animals, including the greater glider, sooty owl and koalas, will be cut down to make telegraph poles, pool decking and pallets,” Mr Gambian said.
“We are driving our forest wildlife to extinction to make products that will end up in landfill or rot in people’s backyards. This is a disgraceful waste and must be stopped.
“Nambucca State Forest is the third unburnt forest on the north coast that has been logged since the fires.
“The NSW Government continued to log Styx River State Forests even as the fires raged.
“When the government finished razing the Styx, it sent its chainsaws and bulldozers into the koala habitat of Lower Bucca State Forest near Coffs Harbour.
“Logging has been going on there now for several weeks.
“At a time when koalas and forests desperately need a break, the NSW Government has massively increased logging intensity in unburnt forests, but it does not need to.
“The government could simply tell big resource companies our forests are closed until further notice.
“Based on Forestry Corporation figures, we estimate logging intensity on the north coast has increased 200% since the fires.
“This is happening at a time when it should have ceased operations to allow for a full ecological impact assessment and time for the forests to recover.”