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North East Forest Alliance supporters outside the Land and Environment Court where the organisation is taking the NSW Forestry Corporation to court over logging in the Braemar and Myrtle State forests north of Grafton. Image: NEFA

NEFA taking Forestry Corporation to court

Rodney Stevens


The North East Forest Alliance NEFA is taking the NSW Forestry Corporation to court to save vital Koala habitat in forests north of Grafton which is also the home of 23 other threatened species.

The Environmental Defenders Office has been engaged by NEFA to launch proceedings against the NSW Forestry Corporation in the Land and Environment Court to challenge the validity of harvesting plans in parts of the Braemar State Forest and the Myrtle State Forest.

Some of the 23 threatened species in addition to the Koalas include the Southern Greater Glider, Yellow-bellied Glider, Rufous Bettong, Masked Owl and Squirrel Glider.

NEFA claims the NSW Forestry Corporation has proposed logging in the Myrtle and Braemar State Forests without conducting any Koala surveys.

When the request for an injunction was heard on August 2, rather than issuing an injunction, Justice Moore elected to go to a full trial August 14, with the Forestry Corporation giving an undertaking they will not resume logging until after the trial.

Both the Braemar State Forest and the Myrtle State Forest, which were devastated by the 2019-20 bushfires, are identified as Nationally Important Koala Areas, and according to NEFA, the Forestry Corporation Plans on logging 70 per-cent of their feed trees.

In 2019, NEFA’s findings of exceptional Koala density in the Braemar State Forest stopped logging, and in 2020, investigations in the Myrtle State Forest found an important fire refuge, which again stopped logging in the forest.

NSW Premier Chris Minns has recently stated “protecting these iconic Australian animals is non-negotiable.”

NEFA will argue that the logging operations are unlawful for several reasons – because the operations are not ecologically sustainable, because Forestry Corp failed to consider whether they would be ecologically sustainable, and because the proposed use of ‘voluntary conditions’ is in breach of the logging rules.

Legal Representatives for NEFA are acting pro-bono, which means they only get paid if they win the case, will ask the court to declare the logging approvals invalid and to restrain Forestry Corporation from conducting the operations.

The court action is anticipated to cost $35,000 and NEFA is calling for donations of support which can be made at .