• 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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Major Koala population at threat from Boambee logging

Forests NSW should call off logging core Koala habitat in Boambee State Forest west of Coffs Harbour.

Scheduled to start on 15 August, the logging will annihilate a significant component of one of few remaining Koala population strongholds in coastal NSW according to North Coast Environment Council spokesperson Susie Russell.

There remain only a few strongholds for Koalas in coastal NSW, the Boambee -Bonville -Bongil Bongil population near Coffs Harbour , another in the Lismore-Byron area, the Manning Valley floodplain and the forests around Port Stephens. That’s it. An animal that was common a hundred years ago has almost been wiped out. To the point that few Australians have seen one in the wild,” she said.

Intensive logging of Boambee State Forest will be devastating for the Boambee- Bonville -Bongil Bongil population and threaten major corridors and linkages to other local habitat areas on the outskirts of Coffs Harbour,” said Ashley Love from the Coffs Harbour – Bellingen Branch of the National Parks Association.

In preparing for the proposed Boambee State Forest logging Forests NSW have behaved in a disgraceful and environmentally irresponsible manner,” said Ms Russell.

Much of the privately owned forest surrounding Boambee State Forest is core Koala habitat in the Coffs Harbour City Council Koala plan ( see attached map) and meant to be protected from logging. Some is zoned environmental protection and would normally be unavailable for logging. Nevertheless a number of landholders have reported the they have been approached by Forests NSW and encouraged to seek approval for logging. Forests NSW went even further and offered to undertake logging operations for the landholders.

Forests NSW encouraging the logging of core Koala habit in conflict with Coffs Harbour City Council Koala Plan of Management is highly inappropriate at any time,” Ms Russell said, “but especially so when the plan has been under active negotiation between the Council and the State Government for the last two years. Has the NSW Government got a financial conflict of interest in dealing with this issue? Is it so desperate to meet it’s wood contracts it will sacrifice koalas?”

Furthermore, Forests NSW has undertaken major land clearing and roading works in the Boambee State Forest before the Harvesting Plan, including prescriptions for threatened species, has been finalised. The work considered by conservation groups to be either illegal or highly inappropriate.

The O’Farrell Government was elected with an environment policy for increasing the protection of Koala habitat especially on public land. They should start by protecting the koala population in Boambee State Forests and surrounds”, said Ashley Love.

 

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