• North Coast Environment Council

    Formed in 1976, we are the peak umbrella environment group in northern NSW. We cover the area from the Hunter to the Tweed and west to the New England Highway. We also actively support other campaigns further afield. We receive no government funding and have no paid staff or central office. Our members and office-bearers work around the region, often travelling large distances to assist others as we organise in our defence of the environment and the communities it sustains. We rely on donations and the efforts of our members and volunteers, to remain effective. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to assist us with our work, we guarantee plenty of bang for your buck. Post us a message to this site and we will get back to you.
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ENVIRONMENT DEPARTMENT CAUGHT OUT LYING ABOUT LOGGING IN KOALA HABITAT

Media Release 31st January 2011

Environment groups have obtained three explosive letters sent from Coffs Harbour City Council (CHCC) to the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW) which show the environment department has been lying about logging in core koala habitat.

“These letters expose the environment department in a deceitful double game about koala habitat” said Jim Morrison, President of the North Coast Environment Council.

“DECCW has repeatedly claimed in the media that it was’/not aware of any advice from the council that logging approvals it has issued may have been illegal’/[1].The letters reveal this claim to be patently false”.

“The letters show clearly that CHCC has been raising concerns about approval of logging in core koala habitat for 16 months.The concerns have been ignored by the environment department, who have not even bothered to respond in writing or to meet commitments made in meetings.

“Urgent requests from CHCC to DECCW demanding that DECCW explain their legal position have not even been answered.

“Recent news of plans for a meeting between CHCC, DECCW and the Department of Planning in mid-February to discuss this issue further gives us no confidence whatsoever.

“Given the explosive contents of these letters we do not believe that DECCW has any commitment to koala conservation, and we are now asking the Minister for Environment to urgently step in and protect koalas where his department will not.

“There should be no further delay on this issue — koala habitat is being destroyed illegally and it should end now” he said.

*Key quotes from the letters:*

29th September 2009 “/Multiple Agreements have been issued by DECCW for properties containing Primary, Secondary or Tertiary Koala Habitat as mapped by the Coffs Harbour Koala Plan of Management (KpoM)/”.

17th August 2010 “/At that meeting you gave a verbal commitment to provide legal advice from your Department regarding the various concerns Council had raised…..That advice to Council remains outstanding/”.

17th August 2010 “/The concerns expressed by Council have not abated as DECCW continues to issue approvals for logging over legally defined and mapped ‘core koala habitat/'”.

6th january 2010 “/It is therefore perplexing to see that the NSW Government and in particular DECCW which has carriage to protect koalas as a vulnerable species, is causing the destruction of large tracts of core Koala Habitat and their consequent demise/’.

For information, comment and full copies of letters:Jim Morrison, 0266645233 or 0488696846

[1]http://www.coffscoastadvocate.com.au/story/2011/01/29/council-fix-koala-loophole-habitat-clearing-coffs/http://www.coffscoastadvocate.com.au/story/2011/01/22/koala-coffs-environment/

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