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EPA issues second ‘stop work’

In last week’s Independent it was reported that The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) issued the Forestry Corporation of NSW with a stop work order on Saturday July 18, to cease tree harvesting at Wild Cattle Creek State Forest (west southwest of Glenreagh).

One of the alleged damaged hollow bearing trees in South Brooman State Forest. Image: EPA

Less than a week later, the EPA has issued a second ‘stop work order, to the Forestry Corporation.

This time, the order stipulated the cessation of “tree harvesting in part of South Brooman State Forest near Bateman’s Bay”.

The EPA’s executive director of regulatory operations, Carmen Dwyer, said EPA investigations into operations at the south coast forest had revealed serious alleged breaches of the rules that govern native forestry operations, in relation to the protection of trees that must be permanently retained.

“Officers allegedly found 26 hollow bearing trees that were either felled or damaged, with many of these trees also not identified and mapped in the planning phase,” she said.

“…The importance of identifying, mapping and protecting these vital trees is a key requirement and there should be proper processes in place to ensure compliance.”

After the recent Black Summer bushfires, the EPA imposed additional site-specific conditions on the existing strict environmental controls – called the Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approval (IFOA) – to mitigate the specific environmental risks caused by the bushfires at each site, including impacts on plants, animals and their habitats, soils and waterways.