• 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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The serious damage being done to core koala habitat by illegal logging in the Coffs Harbour area, was highlighted in a number of submissions provided last week to the Senate Committee inquiring into the status of Australia’s koala population.

The Federal Government’s Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communication is inquiring into the status, health and sustainability of Australia’s koala population, and submissions to the inquiry have just been uploaded onto the web.

Illegal destruction of core koala habitat in the Coffs Harbour area continues unabated, even as parliamentarians in Canberra are hearing about the severe threat it represents to the future of the koala population in the region’ said NCEC Vice-President, Susie Russell.

A submission by the Coffs Harbour City Council (CHCC) to the Senate Committee has shed more light on the appalling maladministration of environmental law by the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW) on this issue,” she said.

In their submission, CHCC make the following statements:

Council considers the Private Native Forestry approvals to be issued illegally and contrary to the Koala Plan of Management and the Private Native Forestry Code”.

Council considers the resulting loss of koala habitat under the PNF approvals a serious management issue with the potential to cause ongoing declines in the local koala population as a result of habitat simplification and degradation”.

…Council feels that the approvals granted by DECCW under the PNF are highly contradictory to their conservation objectives and actions”. 1

We know meetings have taken place on this issue between CHCC and DECCW, but it’s two months since we alerted the community to the problem and the destruction continues. We want to see real action that results in koala protection not more talk from the bureaucrats who have created the problem.

The matter needs to be resolved immediately so that the illegal destruction stops before the NSW Government goes into caretaker mode in the lead up to the NSW election in March. Otherwise it could be many months before a decision is made, and each day the trees fall.

We’d like a clear response this week as to how and when this catastrophe will end for our koalas,” Ms Russell said.

1 http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/ec_ctte/koalas/submissions.htm


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